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World Religions Library Resources Guide

Guide to finding films and peer-reviewed articles in the field of World Religions.

Writing a Film Analysis

writingWriting film analysis is similar to writing a basic argumentative essay. You will closely watch a film (and may return to re-watch parts of it several times). You will be looking to understand what your film and your peer-reviewed articles are trying to communicate about your topic. Your analysis will show how well they did that job.


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Takes Notes as You Watch


Your notes will help you remember and understand the film. They will also be the basis of your first draft. An added bonus of writing from your notes is it helps you avoid plagiarism by stating the ideas and concepts in your own words. 

  • Don't write down every word you hear.  Instead:
    • look for visual clues - jot them down
    • listen for keywords, terminology, vocabulary - jot them down
    • listen for topics, subtopic, subjects, and main ideas or concepts - jot them down
    • listen for supporting evidence - jot it down
  • Writing analysis means you will answer questions with your thoughts about the film:
    • What does this film mean? -Jot down your take
    • What message is it trying to convey?
    • Does it effectively convey the message? How 
      • How does it effectively convey the message?
      • Or why doesn't it effectively convey the message?
    • Why is the message important?
  • Do not simply summarize the plot of the film or  parrot the information presented.


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Tips for Writing a Film Analysis


  •  Cite the title of the movie.
  •  Provide background information and state your thesis in the introductory paragraph. A thesis statement in an analysis paper should answer a HOW or WHY question. It makes a claim about the subject that needs to be proved. You will use the information from your film and articles to prove your claim.
  • Use direct quotation of key words and phrases, and avoid summarizing the plot.
  • Use tags such as "according to" or "as explained in the movie" to separate out the viewpoint presented in the films/articles from your own view of them.
  • Write about the main ideas as objectively as possible. Do not include your own reactions and responses.

For more information check out the links below.

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