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Basic “reaction paper” outline


For a one or two-page paper, just write a sentence or two or three in each category, a paragraph at most, and “boom,” your paper’s done! Try to keep it between 300 and 900 words. If it starts to get too long, omit number 1 entirely, then cut back on number 5 first. For a really short paper, just do numbers 2 and 6, describing some scenes from the film that illustrate and support your comments. Avoid vague personal impressions. ALWAYS support opinions with specific examples from the film!


Try to identify things you notice about the film that relate especially to the latest chapters we’ve been covering in the textbook. As the semester progresses, it can be worthwhile to include a sentence or two noting how your analytical observations and critical thinking about the film has developed since the beginning of the semester.


1. Brief Plot Summary (as brief as possible!!)


2. Film’s theme(s) and purpose


3. How well were themes brought out?

          - Example(s) of specific scenes


4. Any notable filmmaking or acting techniques

          that add to or distract from the story (examples)


5. Comparison with other films (silent or sound)

          - in theme

          - in style

          - in entertainment value


6. Overall reaction:

          Was film successful in its goals?

          Was it worth recommending to others?

          Good and bad points, etc.