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Objective: Employ what we have learned so far of argument (evidence, appeals, opposition, etc), audience (targeting, rhetorical strategy, sensitivity of delivery), and research and documentation to construct a Rogerian-style argument essay, which reviews/analyzes a movie for an oppositional audience.
Length: 3-5 pages in proper format as per syllabus. (The Works Cited page is NOT included in the word/page length. You should have 3-5 pages of YOUR text.)
Assignment: For this assignment, you will select a movie and do an analysis of it, using Rogerian Argument to convince your reader of the merits of your chosen movie.
1) Select a movie. You may choose anything you like, but you may find it difficult to analyze something or come up with enough to say simply “because you like it.” Challenging movies may provide you more fruitful analysis. Please read this help sheet on Choosing a Film.
2) Research Movie Review style, diction, etc. Use your the film links on this page to help you with audience and movie analysis.
3) Create a full 3-5 page draft which includes the following elements:
An attention-getting introduction to your movie, which presents the “problem” (as your oppositional audience sees it). Limit actual summary of the movie to 1/2 page.
A clear thesis statement explaining what your analysis will prove about the movie. Your thesis statement does not necessarily have to be in the introduction as we have been emphasizing so far this semester (also see the student example below). But it should be absolutely clear by the end of the essay, what you are specifically trying to convince your reader. This should be more than “it’s a good movie.”
Neutral description/explanation of your audience’s viewpoint (why they don’t want to see your movie), stated in such a way that your audience would think your summary is fair and neutral.
Many details and much description of the movie’s elements—dialogue, cinematography, acting, characters, film style, etc.–to support your analysis. DO NOT just summarize the movie–explain why details you point out are important to your larger point. In a neutral way, explain why your movie is good to see, taking into account your audience’s morals or sensitivity. Show specific points about the movie and why you think this audience could like them.
At least one secondary source that supports the overall argument of the paper.
An effective conclusion that states your proposal (a combination of an appeal to see the movie and your original thesis) to the audience.
Audience: Satisfying audience is a specific objective of this assignment as this is an essential component of Rogerian argument. You should address an audience who, at least initially, has no desire to see your chosen movie. Your job is to convince them to “try it out” through Rogerian style argument. As a side note, you should not address your audience as a “you” at any time in this essay.
Sources: You should use at least one quality source in this paper. Quality will be determined not only on how generally credible and sound a source may be, but how relevant and appropriate that source is for the particular analysis and audience you have created.
You should have no more than the equivalent of one source per page of text . . . or 3 total sources for a 3 page paper, 4 sources total for a 4 page paper, etc.
The employment of sources must clearly be supportive of the overall argument. Sources should be evidence, not the argument itself.
Here is a list of some places you may be able to find secondary sources to use: Movie Review Essay Article List. You may also use the Film Links page as linked above.
Documentation: As sources are used in the body of the essay, they must be cited appropriately according to MLA documentation guidelines…both in-text and on the works cited page.
Clarity: All audiences expect a clean reading of a finished manuscript. Give yours a very good polishing.
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