Canadian Film

Students are required to provide a short proposal (200 words, excluding annotated bibliography)

for their research paper, due in the MLS dropbox before lecture (4pm) Monday March 6th. No

hardcopy is required. Late proposals submitted between 4pm and 11:59pm on the due date will be

penalized 5%, with an additional 5%/day penalized after this. Proposals more than 10 days late

will receive zero.

Your proposal must be written in proper MLA (Modern Language Association) format, including

a cover page and a provisional title. Proposals must also include an annotated provisional

bibliography with no less than four (4) academic, peer-reviewed sources. If you are unsure if a

source is academically valid, please check with your instructor before you hand in your proposal.

Feel free to incorporate the textbook and course readings into your final paper. However, they

will not count as one of your four required sources.

Remember that your proposal is provisional. It is meant to be a measure of your research progress

only. You are encouraged discuss your proposal with your instructor both before it is due and

after it is returned with feedback. No research paper will be accepted without the specific

approval of a proposal from your instructor.

Proposals will receive a grade out of 10 based on the following:

• The quality, clarity and focus of your intended argument (i.e., your thesis): 2 marks

o Even at this early stage, you must be as specific as possible.

• The quality, clarity and focus of your outline: 4 marks

o Outline how you intend to develop your argument. What questions will you be

asking? What problems are you trying to solve? What examples will you be using as


o At this stage, you need not necessarily have answers, but you should at least have

well-formed questions.

o Include the film or films you will be examining, authors/ideas/theories you will be

researching and relying upon, and, if you can, a provisional conclusion.

• The quality, accuracy and completeness of your annotated bibliography: 4 marks

o You must provide a minimum of four relevant and correct citations (see above).

o Each citation in your bibliography must be followed by a brief (50 word) annotation

(i.e., a description of its contents and critical appraisal of its relevance to your


Essay Topics

The following broad research topics are suggestions only. Feel free to propose a topic of your

own. You are strongly urged to discuss your topic with your instructor before you submit the

proposal. Chose a topic you are interested in – it makes for a more engaging research experience

which usually leads to a better paper. No matter what your topic, you must narrow your focus and

propose an appropriate thesis which stakes out an interesting and original claim based on your

close viewing and research. Your analysis of the films you choose must be well supported by

historical, critical and/or contextual evidence provided by your sources. What do others have to

say about the film(s)? How does their reading support or differ from your own? If you decide to

write on a film screened in class, you must develop an argument which reaches well beyond what

has already been discussed in lecture.

1. Present in-depth research on the work of a single Canadian auteur, or compare and contrast

the work of two or more Canadian auteurs. Analyze reoccurring themes and formal elements

in their body or bodies of work. What makes their work Canadian? Some suggested auteurs

to focus on include: Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, Patricia Rozema, Reg Harkema, Don

Owen, Gilles Groulx, Don Shebib, Michel Brault, Guy Maddin, Bruce McDonald, Denys

Arcand, Denis Villeneuve, Paul Almond, Gilles Carle, Thom Fitzgerald, André Forcier, John

Greyson, Claude Jutra, Allan King, Roman Kroitor, Jean-Claude Lauzon, Jean-Pierre

Lefebvre, Robert Lepage, Arthur Lipsett, Norman McLaren, Jeremy Podeswa, Sarah Polly,

Léa Pool, William D. MacGillivray, Zacharias Kunuk, Bruce Sweeny…

2. Present in-depth research on important aspects of a regional Canadian cinema (West Coast,

East Coast, Inuit, Toronto, Winnipeg, Quebecois, etc.).

3. Present in-depth research on important aspects of a historical period in Canadian cinema

(Grierson war documentaries, Late 50s/Early 60s Cinema Verité/Direct Cinema, the Capital

Cost Allowance era, Candid Eye series, Challenge for Change series, etc.).

4. Present in-depth research on important aspects of a tradition within Canadian cinema (the

documentary tradition, the fantastical and/or experimental tradition, etc.).

Final Essay Requirements (25%)

Students are required to write a 1500 word term paper (not including Title and Works Cited

pages), due as a hard copy Monday March 27th at the beginning of class. Late papers must be

submitted in the Late Papers dropbox and will receive only minimal feedback. Late papers

submitted between 4pm and 11:59pm on the due date will be penalized 5%, with an additional

5%/day penalized after this. No hard copy of a late paper is required. Failure to submit the term

paper will result in a failing grade for the course. Your term paper must use proper MLA format

and citation and be well-written, well-argued and well-researched. Your term paper must be

double-spaced, paginated, written in 12pt font, have a single title page, and be stapled in the top

left-hand corner. You must refer to a minimum of four (4) academically valid, peer-reviewed

sources which have not already been assigned in class.

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