Sample Paper Assignment on Midterm Paper: 10% of your final grade

The midterm paper is a (minimum) 2000-word analytical review of a film or animated work from Japan related to the course, due in Week 9 on Friday, March 10 by 10 pm. You must employ and include an annotated bibliography of four academic sources and include a 100-word annotation for each (2000 + 400 = 2400 total). Your annotation for each of the four academic sources should (very) briefly summarize the source/author’s main points, and note why you are using it/how you are using it in your paper.

I have made several films available to you over D2L (See “Full Film Uploads”) and there are links below for more options. Relevant (Japan-related) films of your choosing are acceptable with permission from the instructor or TA and must be approved by Week 8 in the discussion section. Anime series are not acceptable, but film-length works are fine.

Points to consider:

Is your chosen film either Japanese or about Japan? Good, you’ve chosen well. Documentaries are fine, provided they are at least an hour long (no short clip/introductions to a topic).

What’s the point of your essay? What is your argument/thesis? What does the film reveal about Japan? How does it do so? Through character development, narrative style, the moral or message of the film, its engagement with historical/political/cultural issues, in comparison with other media, etc. Simply retelling the plot and describing characters is not sufficient.

How do you support it? Use a balance of evidence from your primary source (the film) and evidence from academic sources. I expect citation/reference in the body of your essay — it should be clear how you are applying your sources.

What is the structure of your essay? What is the work each paragraph does for you? How do your sentences each contribute to the point of the paragraph? Are your paragraphs dedicated to a point and elaboration of it, or a short series of related points? Overly long paragraphs demonstrate a lack of editing and often need to be broken up and recrafted.

Write, then re-write. Read aloud to yourself/a native speaker.

Word count (at least 2,000 words, but not more than 3,000); Citation style (open, but be consistent with your choice, APA/MLA/Chicago, etc); Sources: a bibliography of at least four academic sources with w/annotated entries. You are welcome to have more sources than that, but not fewer.

Plagiarism will be dealt with strictly per the Code of Academic Integrity guidelines, and improper citation is plagiarism. In cases of plagiarism, you (at best) will lose all credit for the assignment and be required to complete several workshops with the Dean of Students office. For serious cases, additional sanctions will be imposed.

The Movie title is Grave of the Fireflies