Essay #1 (box office flops)

Fall 2020
Essay #1

The Basic Topic:  You will be writing –-in general—about WHY a particular movie turned out to be a box-office flop.

To that end, you will

  • Narrow your thesis to a workable size;
  • convey your findings from at least four ACADEMIC outside sources (yes–Wikipedia footnotes and Works Cited pages can take you to legitimate sources)—but you must limit quotes to no more than five consecutive words (yes—it’s a challenge);
  • present all outside sources (i.e., the stuff that comes from outside your brain) following the MLA rules, so that means SIGNAL PHRASES, IN-TEXT CITATION, and a WORKS CITED PAGE.

Submission Rules: Due Friday, 9/25 at 11:59p

Late essays will be ding-ed by one letter grade per day afterwards; that is, if I get it after midnight or even the next morning, it’s still docked a letter grade. Remember also that you CANNOT REVISE LATE ESSAYS AT THE END OF THE TERM. Please note that the late penalty is to REWARD the people who work to submit their essays on time.

In an essay of at least eight BODY paragraphs, explain/describe WHY (you’re presenting what you infer from sources) the film did so poorly at the box office.  In your essay you must include references to at least four legitimate academic sources.

What’s tricky about this?

  • Not falling onto the plot-summary trap. You do not have time to write a book.  Zero in on likely REASONS…or go insane. It’s up to you.
  • You may use only partial quotes from the academic sources. The shrewd approach is to embed significant language from the original into summary/paraphrase (which requires you to integrate the sources with more finesse).
  • Signal phrases—good ones—and in-text citation when needed.
  • Framing material that engages your audience. Practically speaking, I am your audience.  Try to make me interested in your essay from the start, and try to make me smile as I finish the essay (which I do just before putting a grade on the essay).

And don’t forget a Works Cited page.

Evaluation Biggies (i.e., what I’ll look for in particular when I assess this assignment–please note that these points basically match the General Education Learning Outcomes rubric for Communication):

  • Including all of the required elements of the essay assignment;
  • Following the rules of grammar and punctuation;
  • Structuring the essay for ease of understanding your point(s); 
  • Building the essay with developed, organized, coherent paragraphs (remember that the paragraphs in each of the three parts of your essay will not look the same–some are descriptive, some are presenting data, and some are presenting opinion and information you’ve found online);
  • Using MLA documentation style.

If you have questions, e-mail me, come see me during office hours, call me during office hours, or visit our amazing Learning Commons.  Just remember that getting help at the START will save you time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>