6. Final Project – Expanded Analysis Paper
For your final writing assignment, you will craft an original, five-page aesthetic analysis of an
artifact of your choice from the provided list in Week 13. The broad objective of this paper is to
identify, describe, and analyze the form and function of the aesthetic components of your
chosen media text.
This assignment is designed to develop your ability to:
1.) Identify and describe the aesthetic components of media texts using the
2.) Apply and synthesize core course concepts introduced throughout the term.
3.) Reflect upon and critically analyze the form and function of aesthetic
components of media texts.
4.) Craft critical written analyses of media texts using correct grammar and syntax.
1.) You must select and analyze two scenes, each at least five minutes in length, from the
media artifact you chose and had approved by the instructor. (-50% if not followed)
● The Haunting of Hill House (2018) – pilot episode (Netflix)
● Pushing Daisies (2007) – pilot episode
● Annihilation (2018)
● Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
● The Handmaid’s Tale (2017) – pilot episode (Hulu)
● Get Out (2017)
● Lovecraft Country (2020) – pilot episode (HBO)
2.) Your paper must include a discussion of the following aesthetic components:
For each of the above components, you must identify and describe specific
strategies/techniques employed in the scene (i.e. deep-focus cinematography, sound
bridges, or shot/reverse shot editing). You must then analyze the function these techniques
perform within your specific scenes (and within the artifact as a whole). You should
consider the narrative function these techniques serve in relation to character/narrative
development, narrative structure, and genre. You should also examine the stylistic function
these elements perform. Be sure to use specific examples to support your claims.
3.) You must synthesize your claims by analyzing how disparate aesthetic elements work
together to create meaning in the scene/film/episode. Remember that at each stage of a
media artifact’s production creative individuals/teams make carefully calculated decisions
about how to compose/design, photograph, record/mix, and edit the text. You must
consider how the combination of these aesthetic strategies contribute to the text’s
Structuring Your Paper:
Below you will find a rough outline for structuring your paper.
1.) Introduction (1)
• Introduce the title of your film or television episode and program.
• Introduce the director of the film/episode, and the year of release.
• Indicate the starting and ending time of your scenes (i.e. 33:50-39:00).
• *Briefly* contextualize your scenes within the narrative.
• Outline and set up the central claims your paper makes about how individual aesthetic
components create meaning in your text.
2.) Body Paragraphs (2-8)
• Identify, describe and analyze the function and effect each of the above components
(one to two paragraphs for each component).
• Examine how these components make meaning in the scene/film/episode (on both a
narrative and aesthetic level).
• Use specific examples to support/illustrate your claims.
• Note: you cannot discuss every technique employed in the scene. Focus on analyzing
particularly significant techniques and/or patterns you observe.
3.) Conclusion (9-10)
● Summarize your claims including how the two scenes you selected reflect or
influence the larger work as a whole. *This is not a paragraph to repeat what you
already state in your paper. It is for YOU to distill how the aesthetic choices
impact the final piece.
• Keep plot summary to a minimum. Your audience is familiar with the text you are
• Avoid evaluative language. Remember that this is not a film review. Your task is not to
evaluate the relative “quality” of your text, but to analyze the form and function of specific
• Avoid informal language or unnecessarily inserting your actions into the narrative. This
is a formal writing assignment and should not employ colloquialism or informal speech.
• Italicize film and TV show titles. Place TV episode titles in quotation marks.
(-5 if not done)
• Include the director and year of production in brackets the first time you reference
your film/TV episode i.e. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1951).
(-5 if not done)
• Include the name of the performer the first time you reference their character i.e.
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).
• Avoid the passive voice! Write in PRESENT TENSE always! This is a handy guide to
writing in the active vs. passive voice:
• Revise and proofread your work! Major issues involving punctuation, tense,
incomplete sentences or spelling will lose -15 points from the top.
• Visit the Rowan Writing Center and make an appointment BEFORE the deadline:
This assignment must be typed and submitted electronically in MS Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF
format. The file must be named in the following format: Lastname_Final Project. Submit your
completed document to Final Project, listed on the Modules and Assignments pages, as a file
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