Discussion Essay Assignment | Buy assignments online
Assignment Objectives: Enhance and/or improve critical thinking and media literacy skills by:
1. Developing a clear and concise thesis statement (an argument) in response to the
2. Writing an outline for a five paragraph analytical essay building on a clear and
concise thesis statement, including topic sentences and secondary supports.
3. Identifying and explaining three scenes from the film text in support of the thesis
Be sure to read thoroughly the writing conventions below before beginning this assignment.
Note: You are NOT writing a full essay; rather, you are outlining an analytical essay by completing the dialogue in the boxes below.
Writing a Critical Review (analytical) Essay
- Every essay that you write for this course must have a clear thesis, placed (perhaps) somewhere near the end of the introductory paragraph. Simply stated, a THESIS (or ARGUMENT) expresses, preferably in a single sentence, the point you want to make about the text that is the subject of your essay. ATHESIS should be an opinion or interpretation of the text, not merely a fact or observation. The best possible THESIS will answer some specific questions about the text. Very often the THESIS contains an outline of the major points to be covered in the essay. A possible thesis for an essay on character in Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come might read somewhat as follows:
The protagonist of THTC is not a hero in the epic sense of the word, but a self-centered young man bred of economic oppression and cultural dependency. The characters in this film have no real psychological depth, but are markers for a society of consumption and momentary glory.
(You might then go on to exemplify from the text and argue in favor or against this interpretation: your essay need not hold to only one perspective.)
What single, clear QUESTION does the above THESIS attempt to answer?
- Each essay should be organized into five (5) paragraphs, each based on one of two to four major ideas, which will comprise the BODY of the essay. Each paragraph must have a topic sentence, often (but not always) towards the beginning of the paragraph, which clearly states the ARGUMENT or point to be made in the paragraph. Following the thesis set forth above, the first paragraph might begin with a sentence like “Ivan’s desires and his destiny are signaled in the opening shots of the film, where the friendly, jumbled interior of the bus is contrasted with Ivan’s first view of the outer world: a world of shiny white cars and beautiful women.” Avoid topic sentences that fail to make an interpretative statement about the work or that merely state something any reader might observe; for example, “The first characters we see are country people on a bus to town.”
- Underline the THESIS and each TOPIC SENTENCE in every critical review essay you submit. This exercise will force you to make certain that you have expressed and developed the ideas in your essay clearly and logically. (In other words, do not do this exercise five minutes before you submit the essay but, rather, as you are working on the very first draft.)
- Always use present tense verbs in your critical review essays about film texts. Present tense is the verb tense of analysis. Past tense, on the other hand, is the tense of narration. In each essay, you will be analyzing a particular text, not retelling or summarizing the story. If you find yourself slipping into past tense as you compose, you are probably narrating rather than analyzing.
- Use specific passages from the text to support each point that you make in your essay. You may simply refer to an event in the text, or you may paraphrase what a character or the narrator says. But the best EVIDENCE will most often be direct quotes from the text.
The Introductory Paragraph – Some Approaches
In your essay, an opening or introductory paragraph may not always be the first one you write. But it will be the first one your readers read and you need to engage your readers’ attention and interest and present all you need to make your thesis clear and convincing.