Long Paper Guidelines

*** All of the items listed below will affect your grade. The full grading rubric for this paper can be found here

*** The sections in italic below are suggestions. They are meant to help you understand what I expect from your paper, but you should build your argument based on the film you selected and discuss the elements that will give the reader the most complete and original understanding of it.


Length: 5-7 pages double spaced, 12 point font.

Deadlines: The first draft/outline of this paper is OPTIONAL (but I highly recommend you submit one as). If you decide to do so, it is due on XXXX, emailed as a Word document or in PDF format. Paper copies will not be accepted;  it will be handed back the following week. The final version is due on XXXX. Failure to submit the draft and/or the final version on time will affect your grade.


Select a recent animated full feature film, short or TV series (created in the past 10 years). This does not have to be a piece we discussed in class. I would recommend picking a piece you’ve already seen (preferably several times) and feel strongly about (positively or negatively). 

Describe the film: What is the story? Who are the characters? What does it look/sound like? What is the tone of the piece (funny, sad, serious etc.)…

Contextualize the film: Who created it? When and where was it produced? How many people worked on it? What animation technique was used to bring it to life? How was it presented to the public? Was it a commercial success?…

Analyze the film and highlight its relationship to the works/concepts we covered this semester. This is where I want to hear YOUR thoughts on the piece. Your paper shouldn’t just be an accurate description of the film and its historical context but should express your reaction to it and how YOU feel it relates to the history of animation: How is it visually distinct/similar to what came before it? What are it’s influences outside of animation (painting, comics, live-action film etc.). Which works from previous eras/cultures seem to have influenced the work (technically, aesthetically, narratively, politically etc.)? How does it depart from its influences? What is the filmmaker trying to express/convey? Is it innovative (technically, aesthetically, narratively)? Is it representative of the place and time it was created in (or is it trying to )? Do you think the filmmaker could have made different choices that would have led to a stronger piece?…

Quote from at least two of the assigned readings to support your analysis. 


Organize your paper. Clearly state the focus of your paper (along with the name of the film and director) as a thesis in the opening paragraph.  Once your topic is clearly established, the following paragraphs should each start with a topic sentence to help you develop the thesis and support a major point of your analysis. In each paragraph, provide specific references (examples) within the film that support your ideas and thesis. The final paragraph (conclusion) should tie together the threads and leave the reader with a final thought or question that has emerged from your study.

Please check your paper for errors (spelling, grammar etc) prior to submission. Points will be taken off your grade for spelling errors.