Expert's advice on how to write an essay on a movie


Many students love movie topic essay assignments, because they enjoy watching films. However, they often find that they have a more difficult time with the writing portion than expected. These tips can help students to write a great essay on any film.

  1. Watch the film.
  2. The first time the student watches the film, they shouldn’t take notes during it. This is to allow them to concentrate on and experience the film as an audience member rather than as an analyst or a critic. Also, it’s difficult on the first watch through to know what to take notes on—students either take way too many while missing the point of the film, or miss taking notes on things which they didn’t realize were important until later and, subsequently, leave them out of their essays.

  3. Brainstorm first impressions.
  4. After the first watch through, the student should sit down and summarize the movie and their first impressions. This can be done in a stream of consciousness manner, just writing whatever comes to mind for five or ten minutes.

  5. Prepare for taking notes.
  6. Now that the student has a good understanding of the plot and the themes explored in the film, they should prepare their note taking materials for the second viewing. Each theme they’ve identified should be used as a label at the top of individual sheets of paper so that they can easily take notes in an organized way without missing important parts of the film. Each character should also have a page, and there should be additional pages for miscellaneous impressions.

  7. Watch the film again.
  8. On this watch through, the student will take notes according the categories and concepts they’ve already identified. They should also note any points or scenes which they want to watch a third time, if necessary.

  9. Create an outline for the essay.
  10. With the organized notes they’ve taken, creating an outline which doesn’t leave anything out will be simple and straightforward.

  11. Write the rough draft of the essay.
  12. If there are any scenes they need to rewatch, they should do that at this point. If not, they can proceed with writing the rough draft of the essay.

  13. Write the final draft of the essay.
  14. After completing the rough draft, the student can go over it and carefully correct any spelling, grammar, or structural mistakes they see.

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