Topics and Guidelines for Papers
Write an essay of approximately 1300–1500 words (roughly 5–6 pages, though it varies depending on font, page margins, etc.) on one of the three topics listed below.
All written assignments must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point font, and bound with staples.
Tuesday, November 17, at the start of class, is the deadline for papers. You must upload it to SafeAssign via Blackboard in addition to sending in a printed copy (see details below). No papers submitted via email will be accepted.
1. Compare and contrast how TWO of the following three movies—UGETSU, RASHOMON, and BLIND SHAFT—examine the issue of self-interest.
2. Compare and contrast the protagonists’ struggles for personal control in PERFECT BLUE and RAISE THE RED LANTERN.
3. Evaluate the ways in which THE HOUSEMAID and HAPPY TOGETHER approach the subject of desire.
Several recommendations for drafting the papers:
There is no one “correct” response to any of these questions, but you must support your claims with quotes and proof from the movies.
Give your essays a clear logical flow or framework. Create a central thesis or argument based on your consideration of the movies. Then attentively watch the movies and compile the evidence that backs up your claim. If you discover that the evidence does not support your argument, change it.
Create your paper so that the main contention is made obvious from the outset. Your major thesis should be supported by each paragraph, and the main argument of each paragraph should be supported by each sentence.
Be thorough while remaining succinct. Determine which components of your issue are actually crucial, carefully construct your arguments, and keep your writing focused by staying on topic and avoiding repetition and superfluous language.
The key to proving your ideas is to describe the events of the film. Describe the events that occur in each scene, as well as the story’s organization and presentation. Don’t just say something like, “The acting is fantastic” or “The camerawork is beautiful.”
Don’t waste time introducing the films in a broad fashion; go right to the point of your paper. No plot summaries unless they are specifically related to the argument you are trying to make. There should be no background information about a movie’s production, critical and commercial reception, the creators’ careers, etc. There should also be no unsupported generalizations about a movie’s cultural or historical setting or where it fits in film history, such as “Movie X is completely different from other Japanese movies from its time.” This is not an academic essay. The only study you should require is carefully watching the movies and considering them.
Nevertheless, it might occasionally be beneficial to seek the advice of other writers in order to produce ideas. If you do cite other works, your citations must follow the rules for research papers and should be in the form of endnotes or footnotes that include the author, complete title, date of publication, and page number(s) (or URLs for websites). But once more, your critique of the films should be the main subject of the essay.
When paraphrasing dialogue from a movie, you are not required to provide citations.
The most important factor in your papers is their topic, but overall writing ability (including correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and the capacity for argumentation) is still quite important. Papers with numerous errors will receive a lower grade. Schedule a meeting with the Fordham Writing Center tutors to discuss a draft of your work if you believe your writing could be improved.
Your descriptions of what happens in the movie should be written in the present tense when writing about movies, just like when writing about other forms of art. “Songlian fakes a pregnancy in the following scene,” “Kurosawa employs multiple narrators in the movie,” etc.
You must upload your papers through SafeAssign in addition to handing a printed copy to me in person on the due date. You should be able to access SafeAssign, an application that prevents plagiarism, through the Blackboard page for our class. On the day it is due, you can post your paper at any moment up until the start of class. Please let me know if there are any issues with SafeAssign, as this will be our first semester using it.
For support, you can also send an email to [email protected] (please include your username, the whole course ID, and the course section number) or call Fordham IT Customer Care at (904) 961-3613.
Plagiarism will result in an automatic failing grade and could lead to a university complaint.
No extensions are permitted unless there is a legitimate personal or medical emergency.
It’s okay if you slightly exceed the allowed word count. Be careful not to undercut the requirement too much.
Please send me an email at [email protected] if you have any questions.


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