Paper III. Media Criticism
Paper III. Media Criticism
Paper III. Media Criticism
In this paper, you will examine a film through a founded off of clearly defined thesis statement and through the lens of one of the critical approaches/methodologies that we have studied throughout the semester.
In order to do this, you will need to walk through the following steps:
A.) What’s your argument?(< 1 page)
What do you want to argue? Summarize your observation in a clear, specific statement: What are you looking at? Why is this text the way that it is? BE SPECIFIC! “Glee reflects diversity” or “Star Trek has a big fan base” doesn’t tell your audience anything specific or why this is interesting/relevant/matters.
B.) Name your approach.(About 1 page)
Explain what type of critical approach you are employing and argue why it is useful to view the media you have chosen through this particular lens. This will become an integral part of your thesis statement. You MUST utilize a different approach than what you have previously worked with. (And yes, I’ve recorded which form of criticism you’ve previously used). As a reminder, here are your options:
- PRODUCTION CONTEXT
- AUDIENCE ETHNOGRAPHIC
- CULTURAL CRITICISM (MYTHIC, FEMINIST, OR PSYCHOANALYTICAL)
Situate your media within its history(2-3 pages)
Like the second paper for this class, introduce your text BRIEFLY (meaning, don’t spend three pages summarizing a movie) and analyze scholarship/critical reception/op-ed pieces (2-4) that criticize the film or a film/show/genre that is very similar. Make sure to include information that helps to prove your thesis, but do not stack the deck. Try to be objective, even while you attempt to develop a strong argument.
C.) So…what do you think is going on? (2-3 pages)
This is the meat of your paper. Use close detail to support your argument. Further, you must drawing on at least 3 of the 5 formal elements of media (mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound, narrative). No need to submit a shot list or 5 elements summary, though taking notes as you (re)watch with these in mind will make your analysis MUCH easier. This part of the paper should be entirely your thought process—no citations necessary.
D.) What’s left out?(About 1 page)
As you are being asked to utilize ONE, clearly defined criticism method that we’ve worked with in class, think through what CAN’T YOU ANSWER within your criticism. What are the limitations of this type of criticism? If you were to develop further work using the same media text, which additional approaches would be most appropriate or exciting to work with?
E.) Summarize and conclusion(< 1 page)
A few things to note:
You will need to know a great deal about the film you choose and have access to rewatchthe show (Netflix, TIVO, online access). If you are writing about a film, you will need to be sure that you have access to screen it.
This assignment requires thoughtful, abstract analysis of the connections between readings and the media text you are studying.
ONE INCH margins, typed, double-spaced, proofread, and grammatically correct. Slap an eye-catching title on it, print, and hand in a final draft that allows you to exhale and feel proud submitting.
Please remember to cite properly and consistently and include a bibliography. I do not care what citation style you use (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.), but you must use a style and use it consistently.
PLEASE REMEMBER: THE WRITING CENTER IS A GREAT RESOURCE. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT OR GO TO THEIR DROP IN HOURS: UMAINE.EDU/WCENTER
Absolutely no late papers.
Key criteria for grading include:
- APPROVAL OF TOPIC: Half a letter grade will be deducted from your final product if you do submit a written topic/framework approval by the deadline.
- Solid thesis statement
- An introduction that sets up your particular argument
- Analysis of at least three formal elements to support your argument
- Strong transitions – the body of paper has to support your argument
- Follow the rules – don’t try to make your paper look longer than it is
- Grammar & good writing
- Strong application of theory
- Dialogue with other scholarship from reliable sources
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