Paper 3 and 4: Rhetorical Analysis with Precis – a 2 page 3-paragraph essay
You can write two 2 page analyses on two different films or texts (50pts each)
You can write one 4 page analysis on one film or text.
Final Drafts due January 22nd
THE FORMULA: Feel free to use this or adapt it. I’ve highlighted elements that should be “highlighted” in your paper. Remember to foreground theme/message/effect and concrete film strategies that the filmmaker uses to achieve them. See the end of the document for an example of a quick 2-sentence precis.
Paragraph 1: the Precis
Identify a central message or theme in the text or film in one or two sentences. Include bibliographic information for the text/film
Briefly identify concrete strategies the director/ producer/ author uses to create that message or theme.
Hypothesize on the general purpose of the work
Hypothesize on the intended audience for the text.
Paragraph 2: the personal response
Your personal response and opinions should be confined to this paragraph. What did you like or dislike about the film or text? How did you react to it? Etc.
The third paragraph needs to analyze how technique, form, or stylistic elements in the film or text contribute to the essay’s message. It will probably follow up on what you wrote for sentence 2 of paragraph 1.
Do not use the word “you” or “we”
Only use the word “I” in the second paragraph.
First sentence – The first sentence needs to explain what the “message” or “thesis” of the essay is. It should not summarize the essay’s content. Consider beginning the sentence this way:
In [author]’s [genre of work], [title of work] [year], she [or he] [rhetorically active verb]
In David Foster Wallace’s essay “Shipping Out” (1990), originally published in Harper’s Magazine in 1996, he suggests that..
Second Sentence –
You should specify techniques, rhetorical devices or stylistic elements in this sentence. Paragraph 3 will most likely elaborate on this sentence.
Try to avoid beginning the sentence with vague pronoun reference (“She does this by…”)
Describe your reaction to the essay. Don’t rely on vague adjectives. Include specific examples. You can use the first-person (“I”) in this paragraph and this paragraph only.
Revisit sentences one and two of your Precis. Explain your observations/ points fully with examples – show HOW the film/text produces the WHY (the message/thesis)
Marcy Skopes’ film, “Gobbledy-Gook” suggests that traumatic moments are often recollected in comic situations. She explores this theme by creating rapid dissolves between takes from a home video which follows a child’s clown-themed birthday party and historical footage of World War II battlefields
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