Workshop 5: The Body of the Essay
Select one of the methodologies (approaches) to film criticism discussed in this module that you find most useful for writing a critical essay on The Birds (Hitchcock, 1963).
Research the film, using online academic search resources like Alden Library’s Articles Plus (https://www.library.ohiou.edu/) or Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/). You may also do more general (non-academic) searches online. Avoid Wikipedia, blogs, etc.)
Write the body of an essay that utilizes the approach you have selected and the research for an essay on The Birds. DO NOT write the intro and conclusion. Your thesis should be clear to your reader from the evidence you present.
Remember that in a critical essay, each paragraph should present information (research summary, textual evidence, etc) that supports a single thesis.
Consider using the following structure:
Summary of chosen method and explanation of why it is useful for The Birds. Summary of the research and its application to the film.
Character and Narrative Description of the film or a significant portion of the film. Scene Description 1 (Describe a scene that is important for your analysis).
Scene Description 1 (Describe a scene that is important for your analysis). Keep the following in mind:
1. Although you are not writing the introduction and the conclusion, each of your paragraphs should support a central thesis. Therefore, you must know what your thesis is. Furthermore, your reader should be able to determine your thesis by reading the body of the essay alone. As an experiment, have someone else read your paper and ask them what your thesis would be.
2. Consult general information about the film found online to get a sense of how other critics and academics have thought about this film.
3. Keep in mind the lessons from previous Writing Spotlights. In particular, remember to revise your essay for concision.
4. Build on your work. You have already done a lot of the tasks necessary for this assignment in other aspects of this Module, such as the Discussion Board and the Comprehension Exercise. Feel free to reuse (and revise) work you have already done.
5. When in doubt, ask for help!
We look forward to reading your ideas about this unique film!