After watching the documentary, you will write a critical response paper in which you evaluate the film. A critical response paper requires you not only to summarize the contents of the documentary, but also (and more importantly) to analyze and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments presented. Your paper should be at least three pages, double-spaced, and consist of the following:
1. Film’s title, director, and date of release at the top of the page
Why Cats Are Amazing. Directed by Alana Aleman. 2015.
2. An introduction in which you identify the title and director of the film and describe the film’s topic and director’s intentions in making the documentary.
3. Discussion of the director’s argument and how he or she develops it, including the evidence used to support his or her argument.
4. An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the film, including whether you believe the director has convincingly accomplished what he or she set out to do.
5. A conclusion that includes any final critical remarks, such as where the director could have improved upon his argument, what you believe he or she did right, etc.
Papers will be graded according to the following criteria:
Organization (0 to 20 points)
1. Is there a clear-cut thesis statement that controls the direction of the paper and limits the scope of the ideas presented in it?
2. Are the ideas presented in an orderly sequence that makes sense?
3. Does the paper have a clear introduction that invites further reading?
4. Does the paper have a clear and thoughtful conclusion that draws the ideas together and leaves the reader satisfied?
Development (0 to 60 points)
1. Are the ideas explored adequately within the limits established by the thesis statement?
2. Does the paper avoid excessive plot summary?
3. Does the paper offer sufficient detail or enough examples drawn from the film itself to clarify major points and make them convincing?
4. Is the paper’s language accurate and effective in making ideas and evidence clear?
5. Does the length of the paper fall within the required range (minimum 3 pages)?
Mechanics (0 to 20 points)
1. Does the paper demonstrate control over the essential elements of grammar?
2. Are the sentences clear and smooth?
3. Has the paper avoided major grammatical errors (such as sentence fragments, spelling errors, run-on sentences, verb agreement errors, verb form errors, etc.)?
4. Does the format of the paper match the instructions for the assignment?
Note: Late submissions will be penalized 3 points for every 24 hours late.
Other deductions, each 3 points: not meeting minimum page length, not following instructions above, not including all of the required parts in your paper.
Tips for success: Don’t wait until the last minute! You will not do well. Because it is a short documentary, I recommend watching it a couple of time to be sure you clearly understand the director’s main points. Before you turn your paper in, be sure you have read it through checking for any errors. You do not want to lose stupid points because spell check thought you actually meant “tis” instead of “its.” Never trust spell check. Read your own paper and have a second set of eyes check it over for you too.
Do NOT plagiarize. Do not copy and paste from a review on the Internet that you have found. Further, this is NOT a group project, so do not write your paper with a friend. If I see two identical papers, you both will be guilty of plagiarism. If you try to pass someone else’s work off as your own in any way, it will be considered plagiarism and you will receive an automatic zero on the assignment and will be reported to the University for academic dishonesty. Just don’t do i
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