Literature homework help. Essay 2 Prompt
Essay 2 will be focused on developing an understanding of another kind of literacy – visual literacy. Visual literacy is the ability to read, understand, value, and learn from visual materials (still photographs, videos, films, animations, drawings, graphics)—especially as these are combined to create a text—as well as the ability to determine how these visual texts are created, combined, with visual elements (colors, forms, lines, images) and messages for the purposes of communicating positions and arguments.
To complete this progression, you will be watching a variety of short documentary films and eventually focusing on one for an analysis. You will also be reading several supplementary articles to help you understand both the rhetorical and film techniques that might be utilized in any given film. You will use these texts, as well as any sources that you uncover via your scholarly research, in order to engage in an exploration of how we, both individually and societally, affect and are affected by dynamic power of visual arguments.
Everywhere, all the time, you are being manipulated to take sides in some argument. Film is no exception. Our realities are being shaped constantly by what we see within them. And yet documentary film is probably one of the first mediums that come to mind when we think about “documenting reality,” yet it is also one of the most complex formats for recording aspects of our world. For this essay we will be closely reading a short documentary film in order to better understand how that shaping takes place.
Documentary films use a variety of methods (e.g., images, words, sounds, and various film techniques) in order to present an argument. This prompt asks you to view a documentary film and to analyze the rhetorical and persuasive strategies employed by the filmmaker in the construction of the film’s argument.
Your essay should not be just a summary of the film, nor should it be a review based on your personal opinions on the topic of it. The aim of the assignment is to identify the filmmaker’s thesis (argument/position – yes, they all have one) and to analyze the rhetorical strategies, persuasive devices, and film/visual techniques used in order to develop its idea(s)/achieve its purpose.
Your essay should do all of the following:
- Identify the main argument and / or purpose of the film (this is somewhat subject to interpretation).
- Provide a briefsummary of the film for context.
- Examine the ways in which the aim of the film’s argument is supported through rhetorical and persuasive strategies (e.g., presentation of facts, dismissing credibility of counterfactual information, not addressing certain related issues, etc.). What is the filmmaker’s purpose? What is the argument/thesis of the film (which might be implicit or explicit)? What assertions/claims are made? Are there fallacies, contradictions, or inconsistencies? What is the attitude or viewpoint of the filmmaker? What is the tone of the piece?
- What cinematic techniques does the filmmaker use to make their point? How does the structure and the detail elements of the film help achieve its purpose?
- To focus your ideas, make sure to represent the best evidence or claims the film is using to achieve its purpose. Explain why these seem to be the most persuasive and analyze how the filmmaker uses them to convince an audience.
- Length Requirement: Five (5) full pages not including the Works Cited Page.
- Format: MLA Formatting and Works Cited Page
- Source Usage: Two sources beyond the primary text (documentary film) are required. These will be the sources you have read about film and rhetorical strategies. If you wish, you can do additional research on your own (about form and technique NOT content), but it is not required.
- See rubric for specifics
You will choose ONE of the following films to analyze in your essay.
- “Little Pyongyang”(Links to an external site.)
- “Shelter: Human Stories from Central America”(Links to an external site.)
- “Lifeboat”(Links to an external site.)
- “Darlin”(Links to an external site.)
All of the films are accessible here: https://www.shortoftheweek.com/channels/documentary?p=1