Rhetorical Analysis: Film as Argument
Rough Draft Due: Friday, Feb. 23 (at least 2 pages and your works cited)
Final Draft Due: Wednesday, Feb 28
For this assignment, you will be selecting a film of your choice and writing an analysis of that film based on the elements of argumentation theory we have learned in class. Basically, you should thoroughly analyze how argumentative strategies are used in the film. Your analysis should include types of claims, evidence/proofs, warrants, fallacies, rebuttals, and qualifiers, though not necessarily in that order. In addition, you should examine how the medium of film is used to create a claim in a unique way (i.e. what is it about the film that makes the presentation of these elements different than if they were, for example, presented in written format?).
Because of the large amounts of information, it would be helpful to view your film more than once, and good note taking will be essential. You will not be able to write about everything – so, using your notes, choose the elements you find to be the most important to the film (use of ethos, humor/irony, images of certain scenes or types of people, logos, narration, for example…) and write about them in as thorough a manner as possible. Organize your essay in a way that best highlights your information.
Be sure to include some background information on both the film itself (as well as any controversies it is concerned with) to begin your paper. Then summarize the film as briefly as you can. These items should take up no more than two fairly short paragraphs. The rest of your essay should be analysis.
You might also conclude your paper by adding your own opinion on the subject – but again, this should be fairly brief and not take away from the analysis.
1. Minimum length: at least 4 pages (aim for somewhere between 4-6)
2. Use MLA format! This paper will be docked significantly for improper format
3. Cite all sources and include a Works Cited section
For this assignment, I will be looking specifically for the following elements:
*Completes length requirements (at least 4 full pages…3.5 pages is not 4 pages…)
* Uses correct MLA style and has a minimum of mechanical errors
*Organization is clear, focused, and logical
*Bulk of paper is thorough analysis, summarization kept to minimum
*Includes relevant background info
*Includes succinct summary of chosen film
*Includes important elements of argumentation theory and supports reasoning as to why these elements are significant in film
*Clearly states claim of film
*Analysis is of carefully selected elements that tie together to form a cohesive whole (analysis has focus and ties back to statement of claim)