Creating Your Main Point:
• Because this is a drama essay, your main focus is the video version of your chosen work and its use of a single dramatic convention.
• The basic thesis is similar to: [Title], a film version of[author’s] short story by the same name, uses [dramatic convention].(Feel free to vary the wording)
—Everyday Use, a film version of Alice Walker’s short story by the same name, makes use of voice over narration.
—Bernice Bobs Her Hair, a film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’sshort story, uses dramatic convention in its costuming.
–We can see the use of background music in the film version of William Faulkner’s short story, “Barn Burning.”
• But do you want to do more than the basic? (You do, right? I bet you do).
• To refine your main point, add a reason—an effect achieved through the use of this dramatic convention.
• The refined thesis is therefore similar to: [Title], a film version of [author’s] short story by the same name, uses[dramatic convention] in order to [note effect].For example:
—Everyday Use,a film version of Alice Walker’s short story by the same name, makes use of voice over narrationto emphasize Maggie’s conniving brilliance.*
—Bernice Bobs Her Hair, a film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, uses dramatic conventions in its costumingin order to show Bernice’s rejection of feminine power.*
–We can see a Germanic effect in the instruments used for background music forthe film version of William Faulkner’s short story, “Barn Burning,“to make Sarty sound evil*
[*Note—all three of these thesis statements are deliberate lies; I didn’t want to steal a student’s idea… or vice versa].
• Your nowthen becomes to show how the dramatic conventionaffects/improves the story being told in the film.
• Remember to use present tense!
• Remember to make it a sentence.
Your goal is now to prove the main point about that particular dramatic convention’s effect in that particular film. How will you support it? You may want to keep researching different elements that you now realize are important.
THESIS – [Title], a film version of [author’s] short story by the same name, uses [dramatic convention].
Here are some topic sentences for various supportive body paragraphs. Some will work for your topic and some won’t. Mix and match so you have a minimum of two:
Optional Topic Sentences (the one in green is required):
• Using [this dramatic convention] means [definition].
• [This dramatic convention] has a long history in film/theater.
• Drama often uses [this dramatic convention] to create [this effect].
• [This dramatic convention], is visible/evident in [Your Film] in these ways.** (uses primary research).
• [Title] also uses [this dramatic convention] to create [this effect].
** This one, that it occurs in your film, is required for your research paper.
How to Pull Information from your Research:
• Remember that the point of your research is to support your thesis.
• You will not find research to support that the dramatic convention is used in your chosen film – for that, you have to use your eyes and ears, and take notes, and think about it.
• Instead, realize that your job is to research a) directly from the film, as a primary source, b) from sources about the dramatic convention you chose in general (these are secondary sources, and your main source of quotes for your essay) c) the short story, for background information (also a primary source), and d) if you want, see if you can research the film or the short story to add a little extra interesting information, but this is optional.
• While watching the film, write down the times(usually on the bottom left of the screen, or visible when you pause) when the dramatic convention takes place.
• Also write down words being spoken at the time that the dramatic convention takes place, if they have anything to do with it. Obviously, you will not be able to reference a page number for this. For example:
—Mrs. Hale says that the reason Millie murdered her husband—if she did—is “because of all the things he’s been doing to her for the past twenty years” (Jury 17:40). Moments later, she exclaims, “She was seventeen years old!” (Jury 17:52). The math suggests that Millie Wright is therefore thirty seven.
—Staring into the mirror and brushing her shorn hair, Bernice answers her cousin’s apology by unconvincingly saying, “It’s all right,” twice (Bernice 41:15 and 41:20). She then insists that “I like it” (Bernice41:46). She never takes her eyes off her reflection.
• Your main research will support the paragraphs about the definition of the dramatic convention, its history, its famous uses, and its usual effect.
• Read your sources to find passages and sentences that support any of those things.
• Make sure to keep the quotes exact, unless you use ellipses … to leave something out, or [brackets] to add something.
Work Cited Page:
A Work Cited page is a separate page at the end of your paper where you list the information sources that provided your research. It used to be called a “Bibliography.”
1) Each item in your work cited page must include specific information in a specific order. Even the periods have to go in a particular place. The “Modern Language Association” (MLA) makes those rules. For more information on these specific rules, see the TCC Library page and Purdue’s Online Writing Lab. You might also want to try a website liked RefME.comor CiteThisForMe.com. Your whole Work Cited page (like your typed essay) should be double-spaced. Do not double-double-space between each entry.
2) Also, take a moment to make sure the font and font size is identical for all the entries.
3) Other than the title (“Work Cited Page”), each entry on your page should use a hanging indent, where the first line of the entry starts far to the left, but each line after that is indented 5 spaces.
4) Arrange your entries by alphabetical order of the first word in each entry. A work starting with “Bloom, Harold” goes before a work without an author, which is titled Cats and Their Poetry.
5) See the last page of these notes for an example.
Why is the Work Cited Page important?
“What goes into the parentheses in my paper?” you ask?
Repeat after me: “The first word in the Works Cited entry for that source. The first word in the Works Cited entry for that source. The first word in the Works Cited entry….”
In the essay itself, what you put in parentheses after your quotes is the first word of the related Work Cited entry (plus a page number, if the source has pages). So if you do not have a works-cited page, you will not be able to correctly reference your sources within your essay.
Work Cited Page
(Example, Partial – Yours Isn’t In Color!)
Armstrong, Richard B., and Armstrong, Mary Willems. Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series. Rev. ed. Jefferson, N.C. ; London: McFarland, 2001. Print.
Bernice Bobs Her Hair. Dir. Joan Micklin Silver. Perf. Shelley Duvall, Veronica Cartwright. Learning in Focus, 1976. Film.
Billson, Anne. “The Greatest Mirror Moments In Film.” Telegraph.co.uk. N.p., 2014. Web. 24 Mar. 2015
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Bernice Bobs Her Hair.” n. pag. Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina, 1996. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
Frost, Jacqueline B.Cinematography for Directors: A Guide for Creative Collaboration. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2009. Print.
Mercado, Gustavo. The Filmmaker’s Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition. Oxford: Focal, 2010. Print.
“Mirror Self.” TVTropes. TVTropes Foundation, LLC, 1 Aug. 2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
How To Reference Your Quotes & Paraphrases?
Once you have your Work Cited page, this part is sooo easy! After your quote (at the end of the sentence) put two things in parentheses: 1) the Last Name of the author (or first word of the title, if there is no author) and 2) the Page Number (if it exists). Do not put p. or the word page.) If you are quoting someone who did not write the work, but is quoted in the work, then you put the speaker’s name, followed by “qtd. in” and the last name of the author or first work of the title if there is no author.
(Armstrong 134)or(Bilson)or (Frost 64) or(Mercado 21) or(Bernice 1:07) or(“Mirror”) or(Fitzgerald 11).