Film Studies 1022 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Thesis Statement, Topic Sentence

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How To Write a Film Sequence Analysis
Tuesday October 11th, 2016
Title of your essay must be specific and hint at what your paper is about; it must contain the film’s title
Bad Example: Sequence Analysis #1
Bad Example: Understanding through the Eyes of the Camera
Bad Example: How Different is Reality from Fantasy
Good Example: The Fantasy of Reality: Camera Movement and Editing in a Sequence from Pan’s
Introduce Topic
Opening Sentence
The director’s name
The title of the film and year of production
Introduce your main theme for the essay
Bad Example: Technical aspects of films are often overlooked and go unnoticed.
Bad Example: Guillermo Del Toro’s film Pan’s Labyrinth
(2006) is set in Spain five
years after the Spanish Civil War
Good Example: Although fairy tales are generally products of unrestrained imagination,
in Guillermo Del Toro’s modern fairy tale, Pan’s Labyrinth
(2006), the underlying
themes are used to comment on the larger society.
Anticipate Argument
After the opening sentence, start to work your way towards your thesis statement by being more
specific about where your paper is headed; do not recap the whole story
Present Thesis
Your thesis statement is a single sentence which must appear at the end of the introductory
paragraph and must have two components:
Main claim clearly states (where you are going)
Supporting arguments broadly outlined (how you are going to get there)
Bad Example: Pan’s Labyrinth
is a powerful film because lighting and editing in this sequence are
very effective.
Bad Example: Pan’s Labyrinth
is a good film about war because it is extremely scary and
unsettling as exemplified by this sequence.
Okay-ish Example: Through the use of camera movement and editing, Del Toro effectively
emphasizes the blend between the world of fantasy and the world of reality.
Good Example: I argue that the use of “fluid” camera movement that easily crosses boundaries
between fantasy and reality, and seamless editing that makes those crossings even smother, Del
Toro signals to the viewer early on that Ofelia will routinely blend fantasy and reality in order to
deal with trauma of war.
A short essay like this one is made up of 4-5 paragraphs which develop and explain your thesis statement
Each paragraph is a single unit of thought but bound by the larger framework of your essay
Topic sentence, main point
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