Literary Analysis Paper
For a printable copy, click here: Literary Analysis Paper
The purpose for this assignment is to practice the steps of analyzing a piece art (literature) in movie form. We will practice the five processes of rhetoric, namely: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. (To practice memory we will simply use photocopying, computers, note cards, and our mental powers to help us keep track of our research.)
The analysis will be of a film or novel which has as a theme “coming of age,” sometimes called “rite of passage” literature. Your paper will be a maximum of 3 pages long and have a maximum of 3 sources. No more and no fewer than 4). You will practice either MLA or APA citation or reference list format in a bibliography on a fourth page.
In this paper, you will look at an artistic work and offer a critical analysis of it. This is NOT a movie or book review, but rather an essay that argues for a specific interpretation in relation to the movie or novel’s treatment of “coming of age”. After you choose a film or novel related to your chosen issue, you will research and discuss the movie (or novel) in relation to the issue portrayal in the movie (or novel).
For this paper, you will locate research about the film’s portrayal of “coming of age.” Your four sources must include: (1) the movie or novel itself, (2) a review of the movie/novel from an Internet source, (3) a review of the movie/novel from a print source, such as a newspaper or magazine.
For a Film: You can get the year, stars and synopsis of the film at film.com or imdb.com (The Internet Movie Database), and you can look at reviews for your film at mrqe.com (The Movie Review Query Engine). Again, this is not a film review—do not use the reviews as models for your paper. DO NOT choose a documentary or television show.
Please be aware that some films with political/social issues may be rated “R” or have themes that offend some viewers. Neither CGCC nor your instructor is requiring you to watch these types of films.
- Invention: Working individually, choose a film or novel which deals with “coming of age. You can locate good lists of movies by simply typing “coming of age movies” in your search engine. Please be aware that some films with political/social issues may be rated “R” or have themes that offend some viewers. Neither CGCC nor your instructor is requiring you to watch these types of films. I will try to arrange to show at least 1 coming of age film in class. But you will need to have a copy available to view at home.
- Watch the movie at least 3 times. As you watch, determine an interpretive question (see our textbook, pgs. 131-133). Take notes about how each of the following demonstrate the “coming of age” theme: characters, plot, scenery, music/sound effects, special effects, actions, spoken lines, etc.
The paper will be a report with an informative thesis statement in the introduction. You are NOT writing to persuade anybody. In this paper, you are just discussing the interpretive question.
- Audience: You are writing to a cousin or other relative or you may be writing to a team member. You will eventually be posting this analysis on your blog, so you want to tell your readers how this film answers the interpretive question and lends itself to the understanding of the issue.
- Your audience might not be familiar with this film or novel. You will need to synthesize the content of the film (or novel) WITHOUT giving too much plot. Don’t tell the END!! I suggest that you limit your plot summary to ONE paragraph. Also, remember that watching a movie or reading a novel for fun is different than analyzing a film or novel. Take detailed notes as you watch or read…even if you have seen this film/read the novel before. Be ready to start and stop as you go. (DVD format works best for film).
- Arrangement: Select and organize your material (our text, pg. 132).
- Style: Individually write a three (3) page paper.
- Revision: RE-invention, RE-arrangement, RE-style: Conduct peer review sessions and revise your drafts.
- Delivery: Turn in the paper with the best appearance you are capable of producing. (Follow guidelines given in the syllabus and in class). Later in the semester, you will post this analysis to your blog.
The paper will be three (3) pages long. It will not be shorter nor longer than those three pages. Check your syllabus for proper formatting of the paper. Your three sources must include: (1) the movie or novel itself, (2) a review of the movie/novel from an Internet source, (3) a review of the movie/novel from a print source, such as a newspaper or magazine. Your Reference (Works Cited) page should be on a fourth page. Document your sources by following the guidelines of MLA or APA style manuals.
Place your paper in a three-hole paper binder. Behind your paper, place all drafts and invention and arrangement documents. Behind the invention material, place the photocopies of the articles you actually cited (not all those you collected) in your papers.
Just a few of the many!!—in no particular order.
A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries
A Walk on the Moon
Beaches (SHUT UP)
The Man in the Moon
Stand by Me
The Breakfast Club
To Sir With Love
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
The Inkwell (1994)
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Do the Right Thing
City of God
Maria, Llena de Gracia
Bend It Beckam
The Last Picture Show
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Sir, With Love