What’s in an “Introduction”?
Many writers have trouble crafting an introduction and it is a source of frustration that can lead to writer’s block and procrastination.
Many students try to write the introduction to their paper first. (It’s the introduction and it comes first, so that would make sense, right?) Before you can easily write an introduction it is important to first do the research for your topic and to have completed your paper outline.
Personally, I often write the entire paper and then go back and write the introduction LAST.
Your introduction needs to get the reader’s attention. It should be interesting enough to entice the reader to read more of your paper and it should tell the reader what the paper will focus on.
Finish the introduction paragraph with your thesis statement. This way, you have an attention grabber to “hook” the reader and this leads naturally into your thesis statement (which is the main point of your paper).
That stuff in the middle that takes up pages 2-9 is called the “body”.
The body of the paper is where you build up your paper paragraph by paragraph according to the topics and sections that you have identified in your outline.
Each paragraph needs to have a topic sentence that identifies what part of your argument the paragraph will support. In general, each paragraph should be at least three sentences. If your paragraph gets too long, re-read it and see if you can break it into two paragraphs.
It’s the end! Wrap it up!
The conclusion of your paper is where you sum up your arguments and provide a final perspective on your topic. Its purpose it to bring closure on the topic for the reader from a broad perspective.
The easiest way to create a conclusion is to restate the main points of your paper in a new way within a few sentences. The conclusion is also the place for the writer to sum up their personal opinion or viewpoint on the subject.
Essay #1 (Due Tuesday, February 9)
Write a paper of 1-2 pages (= 300 – 400 words). It must be typed, double-spaced, and will be graded based on the coherence of the argument and the fluency of writing style (i.e., grammar, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, etc.).
You may consult “Writing a Critical Analysis of a Film” (Moodle).
Though not mandatory, some amount of research beyond the class discussion (PowerPoint) and the textbook may be helpful to support and enrich your argument. (See, for instance, the articles posted in Moodle.) If you do research, you must rigorously credit the sources cited as per “MLA Style Guide” (Moodle).
Introduction—Body (with examples)—Conclusion
Your paper must have a clear organization (see the above guide).
Choose one of the topics below:
An Andalusian Dog
Discuss why Luis Bunuel’s film is considered the emblem of the Surrealist cinema. Incorporate an example (or examples) of scenes as well as theories (esp. André Breton’s “Surrealist Manifesto”) to support your analysis.
The Grand Illusion
Discuss how the ideals of the Popular Front or communism are reflected in Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion. Cite specific scenes that would reflect such ideals; then analyze certain camera movements Renoir employs in order to reinforce or render them visible on screen.
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday
In an interview (by André Bazin), Jacques Tati stated that “All comedies are a form of protest.” Interpret this statement; then develop it by citing scenes, camera movements or sound effects that seem to illustrate such a statement.