You are to write a research plan of 1,500 words on a topic selected from the list provided on ilearn (found at the bottom of this page) outlining the proposed argument and structure of your research essay. You are also to submit an annotated bibliography briefly explaining the relevance of each of at least 5 separate written critical/scholarly sources to your essay . You are also to include entries on two to three films relevant to your argument, outlining salient aspects of each film’s style and form using the methods of formal analysis from Film Art: An Introduction.
Take your time to research and think about your essay from the early weeks of the semester. The work you put into the Research Plan is critical to produce a successful Research Essay. Remember that the percentage grade for the Research Plan and Essay is 50% of the total marks for this course. Aim to select and decide on a topic by Week 3 (or 4 at the latest) so that you have 5 weeks to do the required research. The time taken in doing the groundwork will be invaluable in the crafting of your eventual Research Essay in weeks 9-12.
You must review the literature on your topic and incorporate external scholarly/critical sources to support your argument. Ensure to consider the validity of the sources you decide to cite. Who is considered an expert or a leading scholar in your field of investigation? You are able to determine this by noting the frequency of people’s names referenced by others writing on the topic. For example, film scholar Robin Wood is widely cited on the subject of the critical interpretation of Hitchcock’s films. (See Ken Mogg’s list of sources under aesthetic or critical studies in his great director’s profile of Hitchcock http://sensesofcinema.com/2005/great-directors/hitchcock/).
When researching your topic you will discover critics and scholars discussing particular films. You are required to watch a selection of relevant films (the Bond Film & Television Collection contains over 4,000 films) and critically analyse their form and style using the Bordwell method. Ensure you take detailed screening notes during your viewing (it may be a good idea to have the textbook handy to help describe particular techniques), think about these observations and write up parts of your analysis that you feel are most relevant to your essay’s argument. You will need to return to your key secondary critical sources following your viewing of the films chosen to draw out further insightful ideas.
The quality of both your primary research (critical analysis of chosen films) and secondary research (literature review and discussion) is an important consideration in this assignment.
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