Instructions for final paper: Length: 8 pages. 30% of your overall grade. Use at least 3 articles (at least one of which must be from assigned readings) and analyze at least 2 films in your paper (at least one of which should be from the class screenings, but not one that you have already written a paper on). [Note that certain modifications of these criteria might be modified on a case-by-case basis – some topics might have more to draw from the assigned material, while others will be directed to further research].
You must use appropriate terminology and theoretical/ analytical frameworks in your paper otherwise it will be marked down.
Your final paper is partially a research paper, but it still needs to draw some connections to at least one of the assigned readings/theory we covered in class.
Learning objectives: This is your chance to broaden the scope of the course according to your own research interests, while at the same time extending the theory and media covered in class to new areas.
Check the Assignments page for formatting requirements, and the Writing Tips page for citation guidelines and other points related to structure & essay mechanics. Visit the Writing Center if you need additional support.
Don’t forget to attach your Prospectus, Peer Reviews and Works Cited page to your paper (do not count these in the total word count).
– The topic for your final paper is open-ended, as long as it relates to some of the topics we have covered in class. You basically get to make up your own prompt and topic, so pick an area you are interested in and wish to explore further. Contact me or Jasper if you need help refining your chosen topic. You will get one more chance to edit your proposal after the peer review workshop, where your classmates will provide feedback on your prospectus draft before I grade the final version. Once you receive your graded prospectus, you will have more feedback on ways to improve your thesis and approach, and you can begin working on your final paper.
– Revisit the syllabus, course themes, the Resources page for ideas. In-class lectures and recitations have provided you with a wide range of areas for further inquiry, and if you have been diligently paying attention and taking notes, you should have no trouble coming up with your own individual topic.
– Your paper must expand the scope of the course in a substantial way, as well as critically engage with material covered in class. The final paper is a means of assessing your critical grasp of the assigned material and your application of film terminology, as well as your ability to make connections with films and articles beyond the scope of this course.
Personal recommendations to my prospectus: Your idea is strong, and your thesis is headed in the right direction. A comparison of “true” mind-game films with more cognitively straightforward examples should prove interesting, if you set them each up well and make productive comparisons. Don’t lean too heavily on the Goldstein article to avoid making bold generational claims you can’t support. Be careful with grammar and sentence structure, and have someone look over your essay for basic mechanics.
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