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Overview: How many times have you watched a Hollywood film that started off with ?based on ac

Overview: 

How many times have you watched a Hollywood film that started off with “based on actual events” or “based on similar events”? Have you ever wondered how accurate that statement is? Historians do. More often than not, production companies create historical films with little or no attention to historical accuracy just to sell tickets. This is an opportunity to watch a period piece you are interested in and determine whether or not it is historical fact or fiction.

Directions: 

  1. This essay is not a review or summary of the plot—Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, and other websites and professional movie critics do that type of work. Instead this is an investigation of the historical accuracy of the time period, events, or characters portrayed in the film.
  2. Choose any one film(that you have NEVER seen before) from the list below and watch it outside of class. The list contains selected historical themes from 1877-2020 CE that we have, or will explore this semester. You need to have permission from me via email to watch films not on the approved list.
  3. You will need to track down this film and watch it on your own (via MPC’s video streaming service Kanopy
  4. (Links to an external site.)
  5. , Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.). You can find Kanopy in the list of MPC’s library databases
  6. (Links to an external site.)
  7. .
  8. As you watch the film, take notes to help answer the following question: Did this film portray authentic history? Why or why not? For the purposes of this assignment, we will define authentic as "based on facts; accurate or reliable".
  9. After watching the film, do some research on the history portrayed in the film. Determine the authenticity of that history using reputable academic sources.
  10. After researching the history in the film, write an analysis on the historical accuracy of the film. Your paper should:
  • Be 2-3 FULL pages—no less, no more (works cited page is not one of the pages)
  • Answer the above underlined question with a specific, concise thesis statement in the last sentence of the first paragraph (this is very important)
  • Be double-spaced
  • In Times New Roman font
  • In 12-point font size (with 1-inch margins on all sides of the paper)
  • Not waste a bunch of space at the beginning of your paper putting in the professor's name, date, college, etc—just put the film title and your name—single spaced
  • Have at least five reputable sources such as such as textbooks, scholarly books, and scholarly websites (ending in .gov or .edu) to support your analysis and help determine the historical accuracy of the film (avoid Wikipedia and other .com & .net sites). Use the MPC Library databases
  • (Links to an external site.)
  • to find solid academic sources. 
  • Cite all sources using either the Chicago Manual Style, MLA or APA formats at the end of the analysis in a works cited page as well as inside the text itself (information on how to properly cite web sources can be found at: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
  • (Links to an external site.)
  • )
  • Submit your paper on Canvas as a pdf file or a word doc

Grading Rubric:

(27-30) (A) – Demonstrates an excellent understanding of the assignment. The main question is answered fully with in-depth analysis and research. The answers are accurate and the writing is articulate and sophisticated. The facts are vivid, explicit, effective and multiple. There are few grammatical mistakes and overall, the paper is well written. Thesis statement is clear, narrow, specific, contestable, well-defended, and is the last sentence of your first paragraph. Paper has at least two full pages of analysis. Paper includes at least five reputable sources

(Links to an external site.)

(not Wikipedia, avoids .com). Sources are cited properly in the paper with author last name and page number/or abbreviated website title at the end of a sentence where the author’s ideas were used. Example: The Civil War saw over 750,000 deaths in four years (Edwards, 264). Example: The Civil War saw over 750,000 deaths in four years (UScivilwar.edu). Includes works cited page at the end with full source information.

(24-26) (B) – Demonstrates a good understanding of the assignment. The main question is answered fully with analysis and interpretation. The answers are accurate and the writing is articulate and sophisticated. The facts are vivid, explicit, effective. There are some grammatical mistakes, but overall the paper is well written. Thesis statement may be too vague, narrow, or general. Thesis statement may not appear until well into the argument. Paper may have less than two full pages of analysis. Paper has at least four credible sources (not Wikipedia) and is cited properly throughout the paper. Includes works cited page.

(21-23) (C) – Demonstrates a general understanding of the assignment. The main question is answered with analysis and interpretation. The answers are fairly accurate and the writing is articulate. There are some facts. There are grammatical mistakes, but overall the paper is acceptable. Thesis is vague, too general, or too narrow; appears after introduction. Paper may have less than two full pages of analysis. Paper has at least three credible sources (not Wikipedia) but may be cited improperly.

(18-20) (D) – Demonstrates an unclear understanding of the assignment. Some questions are answered fully with some analysis and interpretation. The answers are somewhat accurate and the writing is standard. There are few facts. There are many grammatical mistakes and overall the paper is poorly organized and written. Thesis is vague, too general, or too narrow; appears after introduction or is confusing/missing altogether. Paper may have less than two full pages of analysis. Paper has at least two credible sources (not Wikipedia) but may be cited improperly.

(0-17) (F) – Demonstrates a less than competent understanding of the assignment. Paper has little or no analysis. Content may lack answers and the writing is poor. Limited facts and multiple grammatical errors. Organization is poor and over quality is not present. Thesis is absent or confusing. Paper may have less than two full pages of analysis. Paper has one or fewer credible sources (not Wikipedia) but may not be cited properly. Paper contains plagiarism in any form.

Film Selections:

The Civil Rights Movement

  • Malcolm X (1992)

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