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Essay #2 Prompt

analytical essay assignment

Essay #2 is an analytical essay assignment,

Choose a Documentary HereLinks to an external site.…

To complete this assignment, you must complete the following requirements:

1. choose a documentary from the posted list (you may NOT watch a movie that is not on this list)

2. watch the film at least one time, possibly a few times, so that you clearly understand the film’s main argument and the research used to support that argument — you should be able to state the film’s main argument in one clear sentence. This film argues that…

2. have a concrete, focused thesis statement that states the argument in the film–NOT YOUR OPINION–but the argument made in the film; again something like This film argues that…

3. write 1,000 word essay, which includes an organized introduction, focused body paragraphs, and a solid conclusion

4. the introduction must have the following elements:

i) a hook

ii) a thesis statement in which you state the film’s argument

iii) a very brief summary of the entire film

iv) a brief summary of your essay

5. each body paragraph must be a complete and well-developed paragraph that examines specific ways the film supports its main argument — you may focus on three key scenes, OR three key pieces of evidence the filmmakers use, OR three key points the film makes to support its larger argument only take one of these approaches

6. the conclusion must include these three elements:

i) restate your thesis

ii) resummarize your essay’s main points

iii) how do you relate to the topic of your essay — this is the only place in your essay when you can refer to yourself and use “I” and where you can state your opinion about the film

7. use correct MLA format for the essay; you must have a Works Cited that includes ONLY the film (use MLA format for a film)

8. in this essay, you will be graded on essay and paragraph structure (from weeks 1-2), strong thesis statements (from week 2), comma usage (from week 3), and paraphrasing skills and correct MLA format (from week 5)

9. you are also required to use a tutor to review this essay:


The tutor MUST be from Net Tutor, SmartThinking, or the De Anza Writing Center in ATC309. A screenshot of the tutor’s feedback or a WRC tutor’s signature is acceptable.

IMPORTANT NOTES: this is NOT a research essay, so you must not include any outside sources; only use the film

other notes:

What is an Analytical Essay?

Guidelines for Analytical Essays

Definition: An analytical essay seeks to explore a central idea or question based on a text(s) and a student’s engagement with that text. Key to the analysis is breaking down the text into components and showing the relationship between the subordinate arguments and overall controlling ideas. It must move beyond summary, description, or narration. An analytical essay:

1. Responds to and examines ideas from a text or a variety of texts. The text(s) may include the following: an idea, a relationship, essay, novel, poems, movie, lyrics, life story, symbols, icons, or even a physical structure such as a shopping mall, autobiography, journal articles, fiction/non-fiction/creative non-fiction, auditory/visual/tactile media. The essay examines/uses texts.

2. Is based on a central idea. This idea must be supported by evidence, which may include examples. Quotes and paraphrases may be used but always explained, in order that the essay not simply be a list of quotes. A key component of the essay is that it must show a clear connection of the evidence to the central idea. The essay should exhibit a connection between parts. The essay should follow a logical order of thinking, but it should not follow a formula.

3. Shows some critical thinking, such as making inferences, interpreting evidence, anticipating readers’ needs, comparison/contrast, synthesis, argumentation, analysis, and/or problem-solving skills.

4 Demonstrates awareness of counter-argument. The essay clarifies issues or shows why a simple resolution is not possible. The writer demonstrates an awareness of more than one perspective.

5. Exhibits a clear sense of audience and purpose.

6. Exhibits the essay writer’s own thinking process and shows a developing sense of originality, creativity, and voice.

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