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Film (Argument) Essay

Film (Argument) Essay
The essay is a review but should take on an argumentative tone and focus. The purpose of the review is to give an account of the film and offer a reasoned verdict about its merit or qualities. You can choose what film you want to review – but keep it current. Your goal will be to describe and evaluate a new-ish film (nothing older than about a year). Don’t be merely opinionated – you want some balance and persuasive edge to your writing. You are trying to convince someone to heed a film or not – so make sure your reasons are outlined. In general, you will be doing your readers a favor by putting their interests before your own – even though you want the review to be a pleasure to read, be even-handed and as fair as you can. We all come across very opinionated reviews, but we understand their limitations.

Your main task in the review is around the content, the approach, and the scope of the film for the benefit of your readers. Even short reviews will be more successful if they have a firm structure. This does require some research. Here’s a bare-bones plan for a review:

Brief introduction

Description of ‘contents’ of what is being reviewed (this should take up overall less space than the item below – the assessment)

Assessment of value – let us know what the evaluative criteria are.

Comparison with other, similar versions (to situate and contrast a film in the context of others like it for example or use genre conventions to guide your review. So note that though this is an argument essay you are doing something comparative here – blending rhetorical modes.

Conclusion (this tends to be brief – two thumbs up, 4 out of 5 starts, etc., but should provide a clear verdict of the item being reviewed). It might help to think of a particular publication you envision the review being read in – that might help you target your audience for example.

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