The assignment for your final paper will be familiar and yet unfamiliar.  

Here is what I want you to do:

1. Pick a line (a sentence or phrase) or a single shot from a film. You may write on any of the required or optional readings or films.   The choice is yours.  

2. Quote the line or insert a screen grab of the shot you have picked in your first paragraph.  I suggest you do so in your second sentence.

3. Put your thesis--in one sentence--at the end of your first paragraph.  Underline it.

3. Limit your first paragraph to four sentences.  100 w2ords maximum.  

5. Give your paper a title. In order to function properly, your title must tell your reader what your paper is about.

6. Put your name on your paper.

7. Number the pages of your paper. 

8. Write your paper.  You will, of course, not only discuss the quotation or shot you have picked.  You will focus on it to address the text or film as a whole.  You will be moving from the concrete to the abstract, from the particular to the general.  This is called close reading.  Remember: less is more.  The more closely you read, the stronger your interpretation of a text or a film will be.   Often, you will not know what your thesis is until you have written your paper.  Often, what you think is your conclusion is actually your thesis.  If that turns out to be the case, all you need to do is to move it up to your first paragraph. 

8. After you have written your paper, cut everything after your first paragraph and save the document.  All that should remain should include your name, your title, and your first paragraph.

9.  Now review steps 1-7 and make sure you have completed them.  You may want to revise your title or your thesis or any of your sentences that could be made clearer. I suggest you have a trusted friend who gives you good advice read your paragraph and tell you if he or she can understand it and so so without any effort.  Your reader should have nothing to say.  

10.  When you have finished revising, send me the saved document with your name on it, a properly functioning title that tells your reader exactly what your paper is about, and your first paragraph, with your thesis underlined

11.  Email your paper to me at anytime before class next Tuesday, December 8.

During class, I will put up each person's paragraph on the screen at the front of the classroom.  I will ask the student to read it aloud.  Then the class will discuss it.  

Your last paper differs from the others in at least two ways: first, it will be an abstract of your paper; and second, it will be published, if only in this limited way.  

 Please review this page: