English 104 — compare and contrast essay

| April 1, 2014

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ESSAY TOPICS (see further instructions under FORMAT)
Select one of the following topics and read the topic carefully (substitutions or other topics are not possible):
1. Because films are “motion” pictures, movement is a key feature of this art form. Examine various kinds of movement (refer to concepts presented in Chapter 5 of Understanding Movies) in two of the following: North by Northwest, The Fisher King, Jurassic Park, Run Lola Run, Moulin Rouge, March of the Penguins. DO NOT CHOOSE BOTH The Fisher King and Jurassic Park for this question. You may choose one but you must compare the film with one of the other films in the list above.
2. Discuss the use of editing (see Chapter 6) in two of the following: North by Northwest, The Fisher King, Lost in Translation, Moulin Rouge, March of the Penguins, One Week. You may wish to consider the impact of editing on point of view or the impact of editing on the compression of time in film. Other possibilities include relating editing to movement or shots/angles, but make sure your essay stays focused on editing.
3. Mise en sce`ne refers to the staging, framing and photography of the visual elements in film (see Chapter 4 Giannetti and Leach for what falls under this designation). Discuss at least two mise en sce`ne elements [e.g. the dominant, open/closed forms (open/closed forms count as one element) or others] in two of the following films: Lost in Translation, Run Lola Run, Moulin Rouge, One Week. While you may consider angles or shots in your analysis as you address other elements (e.g. the dominant), do not make this the main focus in your discussion of mise en sce`ne.
4. Analyze diegetic and/or nondiegetic sound in two of the following: North by Northwest, The Fisher King, Jurassic Park, Lost in Translation, Moulin Rouge, One Week. DO NOT CHOOSE BOTH The Fisher King and Jurassic Park for this question. You may choose one but you must compare the film with one of the other films in the list above. You may discuss just diegetic sound or just nondiegetic sound or both. Do not simply restrict your analysis of sound to music, however.
All work is to be brought to class on the assigned date. Do not submit papers by email. Marks will be deducted for late work (normally one letter grade per day) unless you notify me in advance (before the due date) of serious, extenuating circumstances. If you miss an assignment, you will not be granted an extension unless you have notified me in advance of extenuating circumstances (normally a medical problem). Documentation must be provided.
Plagiarism is a serious offense and there are penalties for students who plagiarize. Please read the university’s policy on plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offence. Ask me if you have any doubts about what constitutes plagiarism.
“Plagiarism occurs when a student submits or presents work of another person in such a manner as to lead the reader to believe that it is the student’s original work; self-plagiarism is the submission of work previously submitted for academic credit without prior written and signed approval of the current course instructor.” (UNBC calendar) A lack of awareness of what constitutes plagiarism will not be accepted as an excuse for plagiarizing and appropriate penalties will be imposed.
These papers must be 1200 words (not counting the works cited section). Please include a title (include some reference to the films) and add a WORD COUNT at the end of the paper (before the works cited) and double space your paper. Use a 12 point font. Review the essay checklist as well. You must use the MLA format for research papers (correct format for quotations, works cited, parenthetical references with page numbers, etc.) and adhere to Canadian standards for grammar and spelling (e.g. “colour” unless you are quoting the word). Make sure to list the films in your works cited and your textbook (if you paraphrase or quote content) as well. Please staple the pages of your paper together, include page numbers on the essay but do not put your paper in any sort of cover or binding. Essays should be submitted in class. Do not submit papers by email and do not slide under my office door.
Student identification and date of submission: Full name, student number and date.
You do not need to supply this information on a separate title page but you may if you prefer.
Scholarly secondary source or research source
(in addition to any possible references to your textbook)
You must quote from a scholarly journal article (select peer reviewed when you do your database search), from a book chapter in an edited collection or from a scholarly monograph/book to fulfill the research requirement. Do not quote from an introductory style textbook such as an introduction to film book. Check with me if you have any doubts about the appropriateness of your source.
You may use more than one scholarly source but the focus should be on your analysis, not on the secondary sources so try to restrict yourself to no more than two scholarly/peer reviewed sources (this does not include the Giannetti and Leach textbook but you need to list this book in the works cited if you quote from it]. Secondary material is material written about either the films or the techniques used to make the films. You must include a quotation that is not in the class textbook (You may still cite from the textbook but this is not equivalent to the kinds of scholarly studies listed above). The UNBC library has several databases with full text, peer-reviewed journal articles about film techniques or specific films but you may also use scholarly book length studies about film (that are not textbooks. ). Avoid citing book reviews.
When you compare/contrast films or concepts, you will consider similarities and differences in the two films. You need to make explicit parallels and distinctions between the works. For example, if you discuss sound in one film and then begin discussing the second film, you need to indicate how film 2 has some parallels with film 1, but then you may decide that the distinctions/differences outweigh the few similarities. Remember to say how film 2 is different. Do not just say you intend to explore differences and then expect your reader to figure it out on her own.
*When discussing two films, you usually discuss the older film (the film that was released earlier) before you analyze the more recent film.
**Any deviations from any of the above points/standards including formatting issues will result in a lower mark.
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