A research paper examining through a feminist lens a particular theme or trope
Final Paper Requirements See the below table at the bottom of this document. Choose one film to research and eventually write about for the semester. Have your film by September 19th. This means that you should watch a few so that you are not boxed into a corner, so that you have options from which to choose.
This is part of your grade. You have all semester to work on this project. As you read, you will learn about terms in the field (e.g., feminism, the male gaze, masquerade, intersectionality) and apply them when necessary to support your thesis. The same goes for the sources that you accrue as you build your argument. This is not a film review; I don’t care if you like the film or not. This is a research paper examining, through a feminist lens, a particular theme or trope (pattern).
This is not a review for a blog, Twitter, or Rotten Tomatoes. You are using varied and vetted sources. You are not summarizing the film. I and your classmates are the intended readers. We have seen the films so there is no need for you to summarize. Don’t waste space. If you want to provide the plot, it should be brief (a paragraph). Get to your point, your thesis, and share the information with your reader that you found. This is why you need a strong thesis that will keep you focused. And you don’t have to find the film feminist or not.
You will define the term and others that help the reader, from what you’ve read in the course, and think about the following: How is this film feminist or not? Think about the Bechdel test and if your chosen film passes it. Does this film speak to females? Why should students read about the film that you’ve chosen? Go to Blackboard and read the sample student anthology Feminism & Film in the Twenty-First Century. Remember: This is an academic research paper, which means that I expect you to engage the required texts, as well as material found using the CUNY database. How much research did you do? Give yourself time so that you are not stuck using last minute sources that you find on Google (or worse, you plagiarize). You want to have a thesis statement because you will be gathering a lot of information.
However, you won’t be using all of it (even what you decide to retain for your Bibliography might not be used in text) Make sure to cite your sources in your text and also in your Bibliography. The reader should be able to refer to your source. Don’t plagiarize. Cite whether you are quoting directly or paraphrasing. Research/Discover/Know The title and director and cast. The title of the film is italicized, per MLA standards. The genre of the film. Is it a horror film? A rom-com (romantic comedy)? Is it in a subgenre? For example, it might be a horror film, but specifically, it might be under the subcategory of slasher or body horror. Or is it a combination, like a sci-fi horror like Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979).
Sometimes how a film is marketed is not how a film is received by the audience (e.g., reader-response criticism). Watch the film more than once. Start watching similar films that share your theme (e.g., domestic violence is a subject… what other films highlight this social issue within the context of the course, Feminism and Film?) Sources: Once you identify your genre, watch other films in the genre/subject so that you can speak with some knowledge. Begin this now! You should have at least three films that you can refer to with knowledge because you watched them (as opposed to just reading about them). You are not going to use everything that you find in your paper. The goal is to gather knowledge about your film, all while staying focused on your thesis. Use materials from the assigned essays. Take from them what is useful.
This shows that you engaged the material for the course. This is why it’s important to stay on top of the readings and to take notes. Peruse Blackboard! There is a lot of material there that was not assigned. Look at the Bibliography/Works Cited of other essays that you find on the CUNY database. Film Reviews: Reviewers are not as objective as we, or they, think. In gathering reviews (not blindly; sift through to see which ones serve your purpose), do you notice a bias? Were some films doomed before release? This is why we think in terms other than likeability. Just because a film tanked at the box office doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthy of study. Your own liberal arts knowledge accrued so far. You are not coming to this class with a blank slate! Think of your former classes. Look at your bookshelf. The CUNY Database! You can find so much here. This is different from Google in that many of the essays have been vetted. You want to demonstrate that you have used this site for your academic research paper. Watch films with others and take notes.
For example, if you can watch it with all females in your home, take note of ages, of differences, and then take note of their reactions. Screening films for particular audiences is what studios do. This might work for you or not. Format Your MLA-formatted paper has a centered title (use the key for centering, not the space key) MLA formatting throughout the paper. Spacing: 1.5” or 2” Margins: 1.25” or 1” Font: NY Times, Times Roman, Ariel (not Typewriter or Courier) Font Size: 12 pt. font throughout; no bold in your paper (when you are done with your paper, click “select all” and make sure that you have the same size font and size throughout your paper. In-text Citing: See below examples (direct quotes/paraphrasing) The sky “is blue” (Smith 42). According to Smith, the “sky is blue” (42). Some scholars believe that skies are blue (Smith 42) Bibliography: This page encompasses all of the research that you did for the film. Separate page (not a separate file). Again, see sample student papers on Blackboard. (Note: I am asking for a Bibliography, which contains what you cite in your paper, as well as other relevant sources/information. A Works Cited page is just that; sources listed are what is found in essay.)