Film Critique and Synthesis Paper

This is the film that it needs to be on.

Length: 5 page minimum—five full pages

You will write a critique of a documentary film from the list  of DW documentaries provided in the Week 5 Module. Select from within your theme.

In your essay, you will closely view your chosen documentary film and analyze how the film works. How it addresses important issues in the world today. You will include the film and any outside sources you might decide to include on a Works Cited page, which is the last page of your essay but does not count toward the page count.

THOUGH YOU WILL CRITIQUE THE FILM– AND THOUGH THIS PAPER WILL BE LARGELY BASED ON YOUR INTERPRETATION, PLEASE DO NOT USE FIRST OR SECOND PERSON PRONOUNS.  Instead of saying, I found film X to be a a clear insight into rabid baboon behavior, simply say  “Film X was a  clear insight into rabid baboon behavior due to stunning camera work, long term studies, and excellent explanation. For instance…”

Please do use your They Say I Say book to guide you. I will be looking for signs that you are integrating the information from that book. There are excellent examples and scaffolding there. Be sure to pay special attention to what they say about incorporating sources, about how to fully incorporate them through in text citation.

When we critique something, it does not mean criticize in a fault finding manner. It means we weigh up the value and importance of the piece. So, criticizing or critiquing the film means weighing its worth and analyzing it.  General guiding questions your essay should answer are:

1.What is this this film arguing and how is it doing that?

2. And how does the director arrange that argument (logos)?

3.How is credibility established? (ethos)?

4.How(not just where) does the film create an emotional response in the viewer (pathos)?

5.What are the most compelling moments in the film and what makes the compelling?

6. What does the film leave the viewer with–Thoughts to think? More information to seek out? Actions to take?

You must include the following in your paper:

An opening paragraph within your introduction that lays out the title of the film, the name of the director and producer if those are available, its focus, when and where it was made–like what you did you your summaries.

A short summary of the film. No more than a paragraph. Worked in where you think it fits best. This ensures readers who did not watch the film get a short/sweet/basic understanding.
optional outside research on the topic of the film to set things into context of strengthen your points if necessary. If your outside book ties in, for instance, or one of the articles you read earlier, feel free to tie that in. It’s good to know a bit about the subject matter, but this one is optional.
Specific quotes and descriptions from the documentary cited correctly within the text–that means with a time stamp instead of a page number. You can find examples at OWL at Purdue–the free online site. All quotes should be integrated. This means you introduce the quote, insert the quote, and analyze what you’ve put there. See samples in They Say I Say.
A strong and correctly-working conclusion that sums up the paper and pushes your thoughts a bit further.
Correct citation applied to both in-text citation and the works cited page in MLA format. Remember, the OWL at Purdue is the best source for many citation and grammar examples and explanations:

Thoughtful word choice. Your audience is other college students and professors as well as the public who might like to see your documentary.

Proper grammar and punctuation.



Here are the steps you should follow in writing this paper:

1. Select the film you would like to work with from the list in Module 5.

3. Watch the film with a notepad and pencil to take notes. Some people prefer to watch twice. Once just to see it and then a second time to pick out parts they want to include in their essay.

5. Decide on your thesis statement. What’s your main takeaway?

6 Outline your paper, developing sections that support your thesis statement.

7. Draft your paper.

8. Revise your paper.

9. Edit your paper.

10. Hand in your paper.

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