Here is the assignment for the essay I use in my ENGL 111 class. I offer the option for the students to review an album, a movie or a piece of visual art, but as of yet, no student has reviewed any visual art. Mostly students have reviewed movies, with about 20% to 30% reviewing music.
The ability to support your views on a topic is essential to academic writing. Choose a creative work–a movie, a musical album, a piece of visual art–and write a review of this work. The work must be something new, released in the last three years. Offer your opinion on whether the work is good or bad and support that opinion.
The final essay must include these elements:
- A strong, defensible thesis that could be right or wrong.
- A structured approach, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- The final draft must adhere to MLA style. It must be printed on 8 ½’ by 11’ paper with 1’ margins, using 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and should be at least 850 to 1000 words (about 3 to 4 pages).
- Make sure to cite all the sources you reference for the paper, including the work you are reviewing, on the Works Cited page and in the paper, using MLA in-text citation methods.
The final essay and outline should include at least three of the following elements.
- Biographical information about the artist/musical group/director/actors. (Please make sure to incorporate this into your essay. You should NOT have a paragraph that is all biographical information unconnected to your thesis. Use this as evidence to support your thesis; do not use it as ‘background information.’)
- A comparison to another work in the same genre.
- A comparison to an earlier work by the artist.
- A discussion of what other artists you think influenced this artist. For example, if you are reviewing an album by Oasis or Panic at the Disco, you should probably look at the similarities between their work and the work of The Beatles.
- A discussion about any intentions that the artist may have had for the work. For example, if you are writing about Rage Against the Machine, you should probably bring up the political topics they bring up and implications of the work.
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU USED THIS PROMPT IN YOUR CLASS. HOW DID IT GO? WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN? DID YOU MAKE ANY MODIFICATIONS?