Project Text: Film Analysis


Movies, television shows, and books often play a role in shaping the way we look at the world.  Fiction or non-fiction, they can teach us about important social issues, make us see something from a new perspective, or give us insight into lives and experiences that are not our own. This is precisely our focus for Project Text. 

Project Requirements:

  • Topic and Research Plan – Due November 10
  • Annotated Bibliography – Rough Draft (2 sources) due Nov. 17, Final Draft (4 sources) due Nov. 26
  • Individual Essays (1200 words) – Rough Draft  due Nov. 17, Final Draft  due Nov. 26


The Essay


Directions: For this essay, you will choose a film, a television series, or a book, and analyze its connection to a social issue or its influence on a particular aspect of society.

The following is a list of questions to get you started.  You are not limited to these questions.  They are just to get you thinking. Feel free to come up with your own issues and ideas to write about in connection with your chosen media (film, tv, or book).

Questions to Consider:

  • Does the film/book/tv show deal with a social issue?
  • In what way does it connect to the social issue?
  • What does that say about how we view that issue in society?

·         Discuss the qualities that make this particular work noteworthy, and/or discuss its negative aspects.  Are there specific scenes, characters, or observations that go against particular stereotypes?

·         Does this work influence the audience positively or negatively? In what specific ways? 


Examples:  Our class readings—“Juno: Not Just Another Teen Movie” by Ali Heinekamp, “Undocumented Lives: Migrant Latinos in America” (textbook, page 260), “Lost: Making Viewers into Critical Thinkers” by Daniel Shevelin, “Superheroes Not So Super” by Alejandro Anguiano (Wings pg. 17), "Twilight: Harmless Fantasy or Dangerous Obsession?" by Amanda Morrison, "Degrassi and its Influence on Teens" by Luz Prado


  1. 1200 words minimum, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. font in Times New Roman and 1” margins.

2.      Your essay must include a thesis that makes a claim about the text (film, book, show) you are analyzing and how it connects to a social issue.

3.      Your essay must follow MLA format and must correctly cite all sources it uses (see the example in your textbook and the handout).


Topic and Research Plan

Directions: What is your topic? What is your research plan? How do you plan to find the research you need and construct the argument in your essay?  This assignment will be a little bit like a proposal for your essay, and you must include the following:

1.      Your topic. Remember, it needs to be narrow and specific.

2.      Briefly summarize the text your are analyzing – this is the film, tv show, or book that you will be focusing on. Briefly give us an idea of the main plot and/or theme. Do not allow this part to exceed 300 words.

3.       Summarize at least one source you have found that relates to this topic. Do research and find a source that either relates to your text (film, show, or book) OR that relates to the social issue you are connecting to the text.

4.        Discuss what your claim might be. What do you want to make your audience aware of in regards to your text, or what do you want to convince them your text is or does? (this can also be thought of as your tentative thesis)

Other Requirements: Your assignment should be at least 2 pages (600 words). You should include citations for your source(s). Use this exercise as an opportunity to improve your MLA skills. If you include quotations from the original text, make sure they are short quotations (no more than 3 lines long).  You can also save the citations for this assignment and use them in the Annotated Bibliography.

The Annotated Bibliography

The Annotated Bibliography will be comprised of at least 4 sources in MLA works cited format.  This means that you will have a correctly formatted citation for 4 sources you have found in your research.  Beneath each citation, you need to write a short paragraph that briefly:

-          Summarizes the source

-          Discusses where/how you found the source

-          Gives the reasons the source is credible/reputable


-          Explains how it will be relevant to your topic and useful in your paper.  

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