Big Hero Six. Big Hero Six.
You will write a term paper (5-8 pages) for this class. You will need to turn in: 1) a brief
paragraph describing your topic; 2) a description of your research plan; and, 3) a working
thesis statement and outline of your paper prior to the paper due dates, as outlined in the
schedule. Papers must be typed and double-spaced, with standard one-inch margins and
12-point font. Sample paper topics will be discussed well in advance of the paper’s due
date. Papers will be accepted via email pasted in the body of the email (not as an
attachment). Papers are evaluated in terms of their responsiveness to the assignment and
to the material presented in class and in the readings, the logical coherence of their
arguments, their quality of organization, their rhetorical sophistication, as well as their
adherence to grammatical conventions. All papers should reference specific sources and
be presented in MLA (Modern Language Association) format. Outside research is highly
recommended; you can access numerous books and articles on film in the Luria Library
The movie that I choose is Big Hero six
First of all, the forum format has many advantages. It creates a sense of community and allows us to learn from each other. Unfortunately, it also has a downside. Many students model their own work based on classmates’ submissions. If one student posts sub-standard work, others see it and assume (incorrectly) that it is sufficient to simply throw down a few generalities and call it a day. This is not the case.
At this stage, I do not expect you to re-do your outline or research plan BUT I do expect you to apply these notes to your final paper. These notes apply to everyone.
1) Regarding your research for the final paper…
The ONLY acceptable sources for your paper are primary sources (director’s commentary or interview, for example), books (paper or electronic), peer-reviewed journals (paper or electronic), or other scholarly academic material. You should list a minimum of THREE of these on your works cited page.
Do NOT list shmoop, SparkNotes, LitCharts, GradeSaver, New York Times film review, Variety, critic reviews and ratings, forums, YouTube, Encyclopedia.com, Wikipedia,IMBd.com, Thefilmbox.com, Filmsite, Novelguide, Film Education, Dramatic Pro, “Medium”, The film spectrum, or our class textbook. These are NOT scholarly academic sources. Use them to get ideas or practical information (names, dates, etc.) only.
2) Regarding your outline for the final paper…
It is important to understand that your paper is a FORMAL ANALYSIS not a movie review. DO NOT summarize the plot or retell the story. DO NOT tell me about the director’s life or philosophy. DO NOT tell me the film is good, great, memorable, amazing or any other adjective. DO NOT tell me that you like it or love it. In fact, DO NOT use the pronoun "I" anywhere in your paper.
Identify the film and director you are writing about. Identify the theme of the film in a single word (be as specific as possible — "love" is too general; "loss" or "desire" or "betrayal" are better. Then give SPECIFIC and DETAILED examples of how the director uses the formal elements of film (narrative structure, mise-en-scene, lighting, camera, sound) to convey that theme. Be as specific as possible.
3) A few things to avoid…
Plot summary (irrelevant to analysis)
"Background" (irrelevant to analysis)
Box office numbers (irrelevant to analysis)
What audience or critics thought of the movie (irrelevant to analysis)
You personal opinion about the movie (irrelevant to analysis)
4) Some examples of good film writing…
film.sbcc.edu (click on the blog and go to "academic papers")P(8)
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