Film and Public Discourse Paper

Order Instructions/Description


For this assignment, you will select any film that engages with a public discourse (so virtually any film) and write a 4-6 page paper exploring, analyzing, and/or dissecting how the filmmakers engage with a specific public discourse. In the paper you will briefly explain the film and the public discourse it addresses including any relevant information about the historical or cultural context. this is a thesis-driven, researched-based assignment that will require you to use at least three outside sources. Therefore, in addition to discussing the issue’s history and background, you should craft an argument addressing the filmmakers’ approach to the issue or public conversation addressed in the film.


the essay should:

1) clearly identify the public discourse addressed in the film of your choice, including any relevant history or background

2) explain and explore how the filmmakers (including the director/s, editor/s, writer/s, production designer/s, sound designer/s, actors, etc.) use elements of film to craft a position (or positions) on the public discourse

3) assert your own thesis that takes a unique stance on the public discourse and/or the filmmakers’ approach to that public discourse.


A successful Film and Social Discourse paper should:

  • Focus/Purpose/Genre: have a thesis or controlling idea (meaning there is a point and purpose beyond summarizing a film) that isn’t simple or cliché (your thesis must be more than “I agree” or “I disagree” with the filmmakers).
  • Support: provide support for your controlling idea by incorporating a minimum of four sources, integrating quotes and information, putting them in conversation rather than just inserting or listing them, selecting reliable, relevant, and substantive sources; provides introduction/context for sources
  • Style and Conventions: incorporate four sources correctly using MLA format in the text and in the works cited; the writing has sentence variety and a sense of the writer’s “voice” as appropriate to the writing situation; follows conventions of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.