Chinese Movie Term paper 3 pages
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LTEA 120A: Chinese Films
Term Paper Requirements
The term paper itself counts for 40% of your course grade. You will be graded on your mastery of the
relevant facts and arguments, your originality in developing analysis, and the effective way your paper is
organized and written. Specifically, originality = 2 points, analysis = 12 points (i.e., 6 points each film),
writing = 16 points (i.e., legitimate title = 1 point, 4 listed key words = 2 points, structure = 2 points,
transition = 2 points, grammar = 2 points, spelling = 2 points, in-text reference = 2, etc.), use of sources =
10 points (i.e., logical incorporation = 1.5 points each, complete citation = 1 point each).
First, your paper must be comparative; namely, choose to compare two of these films: Plunder of Peach
and Plum, It’s My Day Off, Ermo, and Suzhou River. You may focus on a similar theme, a shared critical
problem, or a combination of some of them.
Second, your paper must be researched; namely, citing what critics have said about the directors and/or
films you are discussing and indicating how you respond to their interpretations. You must use at least 4
print sources assigned in the syllabus. Each article in an edited book counts as one source, but merely
listing sources without incorporating them in analysis does not make your paper a researched one.
Third, your paper must be critical; namely, examining texts in detail and engaging different arguments in
relation to the issues you are addressing. This also means that you have to maintain your own line of
arguments while moving between primary and secondary sources. A summary of narrative plot or
biographic information is descriptive rather than critical.
This is an individual assignment. Do not work on it jointly as you might study together for exams or
team projects, because two papers similar to each other will likely lower grades for both papers. Do not
submit a paper that you have submitted or are writing for any other class.
The paper must be written in your words, not paraphrased out of a secondary source or plagiarize from
any source You must give full bibliographical citations at the end of your paper on a separate page
(exclusive of the page limit), and make sure your style is consistent throughout the paper.
Papers must be typed, double-spaced (not 1.5 spaced), with one-inch or larger margins on all four sides
of the page. The length is limited to 3 pages, excluding references. Most students do better writing a
carefully edited three-page paper than writing a longer paper that is sloppy. Papers not meeting these
specifications will be returned without grading. Faulty spelling, grammar, punctuation, and format style
will cost you points, so proof-read your writing carefully.
Sample Term Paper Topics
- The female body and female sexuality in Ermo and Suzhou River
- Changing gender relationships in Plunder of Peach and Plum and Ermo
- Changing concepts of family and community in Plunder of Peach and Plum and It’s My Day Off (or Ermo)
- Changing roles of the individual in It’s My Day Off and Ermo (or Suzhou River)
- The city as a site of disillusionment and destruction in Plunder of Peach and Plum and Suzhou River
- The city as a communal space in It’s My Day Off versus an enigmatic space in Suzhou River
- Different/similar attitudes to the forces of urban corruption in Plunder of Peach and Plum and Suzhou River
- The impact of money on human relationships in Ermo and Suzhou River
- Idealism and its fates in Plunder of Peach and Plum and Suzhou River
- Challenges to male or patriarchal values in Ermo and Suzhou Rive
- Term Paper Template
Writing Style Sheet
• always indicate your name in the first page of your writing
• in general, use the MLA reference style
• for commentaries, no separate reference items are needed; but for the term paper, a complete list
of works cited is required, and any incomplete listing would cost points
• format the title of a film, a book, or a journal in italic or underline: Shower, Shower
• indicate the title of an article in a journal or a volume with quotation marks
• add in a parenthesis the author’s name (if not identified in the text), a short title (if an author has
more than one cited work), and page numbers after all direct quotations: “…” (L. Lee, “Cinema”
37-38); use the author’s name, not the volume editor’s
• be sure proper names are spelled correctly
• in the Chinese case, remember the family name goes before the given name: Feng Xiaogang
(hence, Mr. Feng rather than Mr. Xiaogang)
• reduce functional phrases and repetitions like “I believe” or “in Leo Lee’s article, Lee writes …”
• spell-check grammar and fix typographic errors
• read your paper one more time before printing; hand-written corrections cost you points
• for those in need of assistance with English writing, seek help from campus resources and your
Keywords: A, B, C, D
Discussion of film 1
Discussion of film 2
(you could move between two films but must provide smooth transitions in between)
Bibliography listed in a separate page (at least 4 sources from the syllabus, items listed in required books and other references)
Author’s name, Book Title (City: Publisher, year).
Author’s name, “article title,” Volume Title, ed. Editor’s name (City: Publisher, year), pp. #-#.
Author’s name, “article title,” Journal Title, volume #, issue # (year), pp. #-#.
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