Compare and Contrast essay

Compare and Contrast essay

Order Description

FILM 140    Essay 1                 Due 3/28/15

Answer one of the following essay questions.  Write no more than two typed pages using MLA format**, and remember the essays must be typed.  Concentrate on one clearly defined thesis.
*  State your thesis clearly in the first paragraph.
*  Prove your thesis in the body of the paper.
*  Sum up in the final paragraph.
*  Cite concrete examples from specific scenes to prove your thesis.
*  Your thesis should express one central idea.
*  Concentrate on one underlying theme in the film.

Your essay should go somewhere.  That is it should prove something.  Enlighten me.
No plot outlines.  I have absolutely no interest in a cursory retelling of the story.  Assume that I have seen the films numerous times.

Work will be graded down for poor grammar and spelling errors.
In evaluating your work, stress will be placed on:

a) The coherence of your argument.
b) The range and detail of the examples you cite.
c) Originality and depth of thought.
d) Supporting evidence from the text and films viewed in class if appropriate.

1.    Compare and contrast a film required before the mid-term with a nonrequired film.  The films should be of similar type or genre.  That is compare and contrast a romantic comedy with a romantic comedy, a similar foreign film with an American film, etc.

2.    See another film by Hitchcock, Capra, Chaplin, Ford, Welles, Curtiz or Sturges and compare that film with their required film in light of the “auteur” theory.  In essence, analyze the two films by looking for re-occurring themes, motifs and differences.

3.         After viewing the American Cinema program on “The Star,” see any current feature film and analyze how the star system influenced the casting, story, theme and promotion of this film. This is a deceptively difficult question to answer incisively and well. Think carefully.

4.      Carefully analyze a film seen at any film festival, the Paramount Threatre’s Screening series. or at the Pacific Film Archive.*  Include a synopsis of what the film was trying to say, an analysis of whether or not it was successful and why.  Use concrete examples from the film and be specific.  Make sure you identify and analyze major underlying themes.

•    Extra credit will also be given to a film seen at any film festival, The Paramount Theatre’s Screening series, or at the Pacific Film Archive.
** Rules for MLA format can be found at the Purdue Owl website
Naming Rubric: Name essays as follows: Yourname_Essay1.docx (or .rtf, .doc, etc.)

There’s a write way and a wrong way to communicate
Odette Pollar
San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, June 9, 2002

In these days of fewer people doing more work, there is a heavier reliance on each person doing his own writing. Studies show that business people who write well get ahead quickly. Good writing eliminates confusion, reduces mistakes and saves your organization money. Here are some tips that will help you tackle your writing tasks more effectively:
•    Getting started. Whether it is a letter, report, memo or e-mail, focus on your readers. Who are they? What is critical for them to understand? How technical must you be?
•    Have a clear purpose in mind. Define your message and consider the best way to transmit that message.
•    Try to see your writing through your reader’s eyes.
•    Write as you would speak to them. Be natural and use words that come easily to mind. Write to inform, not to impress. Avoid verbosity.
•    Organize your ideas. Outlines are helpful, and brief notes help reduce the number of rewrites or the chance of sending something that is incomplete.  Readers need to know the who, what, why, where, when and how of your message.
•    Write first, edit second. Get all the information down before you start to worry about style. You can edit and polish on your second draft.
•    When stuck, start in the middle. There is no law that says you must write the introduction first.  Sometimes it helps to get some of the basic information down on paper before trying to figure out how to lead into it.
•    Use plain, simple English. Emphasize nouns and verbs, not flowery adjectives and adverbs. Avoid the passive voice as much as possible – “Roberta Gonzales wrote the project report” is much stronger than “The project report was written by Roberta Gonzales.” In general, shorter sentences are easier to understand than longer, more complex ones. Short paragraphs encourage the reader to continue.
•    Write succinctly. “Choose” is better than “make a choice.” Why use three words when one will do?  Eliminate useless phrases such as “Please be advised,” “we wish to draw attention” and “I have before me your letter.” The reader will appreciate the brevity.
•    Check your facts. Be careful with names, dates and numbers.
•    Proofread your work. Never trust your computer’s spell check function. A human needs to read your work for sense, meaning and accuracy. Try the proofreading trick of reading sentences back-to-front.  This overcomes any tendency to read too quickly and skip words and syllables.
•    ¬Don’t rush. Whenever possible, set your writing aside for an hour – or even a day – and come back to read it fresh.
•    Give it the teen test. Look at your final copy and ask, “Would a bright 13-year-old be able to understand this?” If not, rewrite it.
•    Fall in love with the dictionary. Look up problem words and phrases that you are unsure of. Asking a colleague to review the document is also a good idea.