Your argument should primarily answer this question: what are the messages/ideas/ideologies that it conveys about race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary society, and how does it convey them?
Your argument should address the film/episode as a whole, but I recommend that you choose one or two scenes to illustrate/exemplify your claims in detail. Consider: how do the scenes work to convey a particular perspective on race, gender, and sexuality? You should watch these scenes multiple times and take copious notes on what you observe!
Take care to avoid generalizations. You should NOT, for example, use one film or TV episode to prove a larger argument about all of American cinema or TV. Your argument should focus specifically on the ideologies conveyed by your film/episode.
Remember to address form as well as content.
What cultural values are depicted, and what attitude toward them does the film/episode take?
Does it question and critique, or reinforce and perpetuate social norms and stereotypes re: gender, race and sexuality? e.g.:
What is the difference, according to the film/episode, between male sex appeal and female sex appeal, between white women’s femininity and that of women of color?
How does the film/episode represent racialized femininity and/or masculinity?
Does the film/episode assume whiteness/straightness/maleness as the norm and “other” different races, sexualities, and genders? (If so, does the film/episode critique its status as norm, or present it uncritically?)
How would you describe the style of the film/episode, and how does it affect your interpretation of its representational politics? How does the film’s style (editing, framing, camera angles, camera movement, use of color, placement and movement of characters within the frame, props, costuming & makeup, sound, etc.), along with its narrative and
characterization, help to shape and reinforce (or undermine) these messages and ideologies?
Use two or more of the attached document readings to help you construct your argument – that is, use at least 1 quotation from each of at least 2 of the readings to support your claims.
Be sure to properly cite your sources, using MLA guidelines. The essay should have a title – the more creative and eye-catching, the better. The word count does NOT include footnotes or bibliography.
” The coherence and originality of your thesis—is it relevant to the paper topic, debatable, and clearly articulated?
” The strength, relevance, and persuasiveness of your argument—is it easy to follow? Is it convincing? How well does it support your thesis? Is it always on topic?
” The quality & relevance of your sources—are the quotations well chosen to support one or more of your claims? Are they relevant and appropriate to your argument?
” Your use of evidence (from the text you’re analyzing and from any readings)—does it effectively support and contextualize your argument? Do you clearly explain how it does so?
” The organization of your ideas—is there a logical structure to your paper? Do your ideas flow, with smooth transitions, such that your argument develops?
” The clarity of your ideas—how clearly and effectively do you express your thoughts?
” Mechanics—have you adequately proofread your paper/project before submission? Are there spelling and grammatical errors and typos?