How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Movie
A reflection paper is less formal as compared to the traditional academic paper. When your tutor asks you to do a reflection paper on a movie, you have to delve into personal observations. Here, you do not build an argument using supporting evidence and credible sources. Instead, you bring out your feelings and thoughts about the movie under analysis. Your greatest task is structuring the paper from personal experience and reasoning, especially after watching the film. This is no easy task. Deep knowledge on how to write a reflection paper on a movie will help you overcome most of these challenges.
See what this handout contains:
- Reflection paper writing tips
- Movie reflection papers
- Examples of movie reflection papers
While this guide contains well-researched strategies from authentic sources, it is a tool to make your writing assignment simpler and not stringent rules to follow. Be flexible and make adjustments any time to meet your homework needs. Are you ready? Let us goo…
Getting Started: How to write a reflection paper on a movie
Always remember that a reflection paper is about you. It gives you a chance to express your thoughts over a book, movie, speech or a debate you attended. In this section, you will find everything you need to know to overcome the challenges of writing a flawless movie reflection paper.
Unless you get instructions from your tutor, always write your reflection paper in the first person. Besides, include concrete examples and cite experts where possible to support your opinion.
To write a good reflection paper on a movie, you need to understand the film. This allows you to give a balanced and informed opinion. As such, take your time to watch the movie several times until you master the theme of the producer.
The following guidelines should help you master how to write a reflection paper on a movie.
Hints to remember when writing a reflection paper on a movie
Do not repeat the story. A response paper is far away from narrating the story to your audience. Do not try this. In fact, do not even bother writing a synopsis of the movie because you do not need it. Your focus should be on the major themes in the film.
Retelling a movie to your audience makes it hard for them to understand what the film is all about even though they may get a clue of what transpired. The secret of a good movie is never in the action but in the message.
In the first paragraph of your reflection paper, introduce the reader to your topic. Say what you are discussing as revealed in the movie.
Provide proper bibliographical information – As you figure out how to write a reflection paper on a movie, be sure to acknowledge every source you use to develop your reflection paper. Format your bibliography using standard styles like APA, MLA, and Chicago and ASA format. For reviews, do not include full copies instead capture the bibliographical reference. For web reviews, make sure you provide correct URLs. Also, adhere to standard referencing rules as you do in text citation of your paper.
Organize your paper in paragraphs. A good reflection paper should have paragraphs, without which your ideas will be disorganized. It would be meaningless to have a perfect storyline yet your ideas are jumbled up. You can also use headlines to demarcate different sections of your paper.
Bring out the movie’s central theme: – Though you have the freedom to talk about a range of issues as you articulate your opinion on the movie, do not forget the main theme of the film.
Present a flawless paper – Endeavour to write a perfect paper without common grammar and punctuation errors. Achieve this by proofreading your assignment. You can also give your final friend to a friend to read it and help you make final touches.
Do not do film critic. Remember that a reflection paper of a film is not a critique of the work. Forget about editing, lighting and other filmmaking processes. The issues, which the producer is passing across, are what matter. If you follow these tips on how to write a reflection paper on a movie, you score high in your coming assignments.
For better understanding of the tips above, let us examine the following example.
Example #1: Reflection Paper on a Movie ‘The Crash’
This movie helped me understand the issues of racial tension and animosity in our society today…It also allowed me to stop for a moment and reflect on my thinking and perception towards people of other races and how I would treat them in case we met…
Among the characters who caught my attention as I watched, the movie was Officer Ryan (Matt Dillon). He portrays a practical example of the effects of our actions to other people’s lives…
The locksmith guy also amazes me in the movie. It is interesting to imagine how he tolerated the crap from the Persian guy and Sandra Bullock…
Adapted from: web.pdx.edu
This is a good example of a reflection paper on a movie. The writer sticks to his opinions and thoughts about the film, as it captures issues of racial discrimination and animosity. To develop his reflection, the writer analyzes different characters in relation to racial segregation. He focuses on those who perpetrate the vice and those you overcome the arising challenges. Note that the writer sticks to the first person pronoun as we earlier discussed.
Hoping that this example has helped you gain more insights on how to write a reflection paper on a movie, let us look at a stepwise approach of handling this kind of assignment.
4 steps of writing a reflection paper on a movie
Movie reflection assignments should be the simplest and enjoyable. Imagine working on a paper that requires you to sit, watch movies and give your views. That sounds interesting.
Movies are a good teaching aid as they offer a different perspective on different issues in life. A reaction paper helps you understand specific materials and appreciate its relationship within your course. Here are some of the steps to help you achieve your objective:
Step 1: Treat the movie as a literature piece. As you watch the movie and piece together your reflection paper, see the film as other works of literature you have studied. Bring out the themes and motifs in the movie. Focus on the characters and state how they affected your perception. In addition, bring out the role of these characters in developing the theme.
Step 2: Select a good focus for your paper. If you are in a history class, your reflection paper may seek to establish the accuracy of the events plus where the movie takes artistic license. For example, explain your connection with the characters in the movie and if this would change if it were a book. Talk about the effectiveness of different characters. For example, who is the most sympathetic person in the movie? Capture scenes or events in the movie, which put you off as you watched.
Step 3: Select the elements to include. As you work out on how to write a reflection paper on a movie, always have in mind the production elements, which stand out in the film. How are the events of the story harmonizing to bring out the main theme?
Step 4: Review your paper. Always take time to go through your completed paper to confirm if you have captured everything according to the tutor’s instructions. Also, check grammar, punctuation, consistency, spelling and language clarity.
Examine the following examples as you reflect on this section:
Example # 2: Reflection papers on a movie
How I Met Your Mother Series is another example of a reflection paper. The writer discusses the movie from a personal point of view, giving opinions and thoughts. An excerpt from the series reads:
After watching how I met your mother, I got a deeper understanding of issues of relationships in our society. I was thrilled by how relationships affect everyone in life regardless of their age or gender. I also find the movie captivating and informing in addressing some of the causes of divorce and separation in the American society today.
You can read the whole essay here and get more wisdom on how to write a reflection paper on a movie.
With this handout, you have all it takes to perfect your reflection writing skills. Read and reread these tops and apply. You’ll do great!
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How to Write a Reaction Paper to a Documentary
How to Write a Reaction Paper to a Documentary
For you to deliver a good and compelling documentary review, it is important that you know how to write a reaction paper to a documentary. Writing reaction or response papers about documentaries require students to properly understand the given material and present and argument showing how it fits into the course work. Documentaries can be both informative and entertaining, hence, making it quite enjoyable writing response papers based on them.
Knowing how to write a reaction paper to a documentary can help you in quite a number of areas, besides passing an assignment or term paper. It is an ideal of way of enhancing your analytical and evaluation skills for better communication. The paper should focus on the ideas expressed in the documentary, including those that you agree and disagree with.
There are various approaches that can be taken when writing a response paper to a documentary. You can either decide to support the arguments or ideas in the film, or focus on disputing them. Besides, your reaction can also make a general address to the entire documentary without picking parts. Depending on the approach that you may wish to pursue, there are certain considerations on how to write a reaction paper to a documentary that you should make.
Tips on how to write a reaction paper to a documentary
The following guidelines will assist you in planning how to write a reaction paper to a documentary.
When told to choose a documentary to review, always go for something that you like and would be interested in watching. Avoid documentaries with complicated plots and stories that are difficult to understand.
Watch the documentary and take notes
You can only be able to write a review or response to a documentary when you understand all its elements, contents and message. Therefore, it is always advisable that you watch the documentary more than once in order to properly digest it and know what it is all about.
While watching the documentary, it is advisable to treat it more like a story or a letter. Note down some of the striking features of the film, like characters, scenes, messages and how they are relayed.
As you take notes, try to formulate arguments, make comparisons between the elements to be able to properly get the context.
Identify the focus of your review
The basis of a reaction paper is to present your opinion or thoughts about the documentary. However, these should be backed by examples or evidence from the film. Academic papers require that you identify a particular angle to pursue in writing, which will be the basis of the paper.
You need to come up with an idea based on how the documentary touched you. In case you felt it was good, give a reason with evidence to support that claim. The same should also be applied to when you are in disagreement with the material.
When identifying the focus of your paper do not simply look at the documentary, instead, compare it with your general knowledge, other films on the same subject and even comments from experts in that field. You can also relate the documentary to your personal experiences.
A good response paper should be focused on a unique perspective that is outstanding from the documentary.
Determine the elements to discuss
After identifying the direction to pursue in responding to the documentary, you should move into collecting points and evidence to support it. Based on the aspect that you intend to discuss in the review, gather sufficient points that are striking from the film to use in proving your reaction.
For every key point that you identify, also acquire examples or evidence from the documentary to use in proving it. All the elements that you pick should connect back to the focus of the paper and effectively evaluate your response and purpose of writing.
You can also do some research to find out more about the points to discuss in order to present a logical and compelling review. Be specific in choosing the elements to discuss for clarity. For every point, identify about two or three examples to support it.
Create an outline
An outline is a simple plan showing how you intend to present the review. It should briefly highlight the introduction, body and conclusion of the paper. The purpose of the outline is to provide you with a ‘blueprint’ of the paper and easy reference when writing.
Steps on how to write a reaction paper to a documentary
Just like other academic papers, a response paper should follow a particular writing format. The following procedures will direct you on how to write a reaction paper to a documentary.
Introduce the paper
Begin by giving a brief and accurate summary of the documentary in the opening statements of the paper. On this part, you should include basic information about the piece, including its title, producer, characters, and date of screening among other key elements.
You should also briefly describe the position of the producer of the documentary. The reactions to the contents of the work should be reserved for the subsequent paragraphs.
Evaluate the documentary
This should make up the bulk of the paper, and present a comprehensive evaluation of the documentary. This section highlights the body paragraphs and should clearly indicate that you have watched and understood the context of the film.
Every paragraph should properly establish and explain your position or response to the documentary, backed with evidence and examples. Devote every paragraph to a particular idea and a few related evidences.
Your stance can be supportive or opposed to the view of the producer of the film. However, it has to be well discussed in a way that readers can read and understand even without watching the documentary.
Write the conclusion
The final paragraph of a response paper should present a summary of your position on the piece. This can be achieved through restating the focus of the paper and the key points that are discussed in the body paragraphs. Remember that the conclusion should just be short and not open a fresh discussion. Avoid introducing a new idea in the conclusion since that would confuse readers and alter the flow of ideas in the paper.
On the final part, you can also compare the documentary with others in the same genre or subject in order to make readers have a better understanding of the review.
After writing, do not rush into publishing or submitting the paper to your tutor. Instead, take time to carefully read through it in order to make the necessary corrections. The paragraphs should relate logically with one another across the paper. Besides, also ensure that grammar is in order.
Examples of Reaction papers to Documentaries
Reading samples of response papers is also another way through which you can easily find out how to write a reaction paper to documentary. The following are samples of professionally written reaction papers to refer to.
Sample Reaction paper on ‘’Addicted to Plastic Surgery’’ Documentary
‘’On Wed, 21st I watched a documentary at the Royal Film Commission entitled ‘’Addicted to Plastic.’’ Before the screening of the documentary, we were shown two short movies of the Gulf of Aqaba, one showed how the sea is all nice, clean and beautiful. The second movie showed how the sea has been ruined by human activity. The two movies were two contradictory images of how the sea is now, and how it can be if it is looked after.
The documentary that followed: ‘’Addicted to Plastic’’ was both interesting and eye-opening to the fact that most of the things that surround us and that we use every day are actually made out of plastic…’’ Continue reading the sample response paper on this link.
Review and Response to the Documentary: ‘’Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room’’ (2005)
‘’The example of Enron, chronicled in the film, ‘’Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room’’ (2005) seems to be prescient of the kind of corporate arrogance we are seeing in America today, that has precipitated yet another, even worse financial crisis. Like today’s real estate and credit, the Enron debacle was based upon a betrayal of trust…’’ Click here to read the rest of this sample response paper.
Reaction paper to the documentary, ‘’An Inconvenient Truth’’
‘’An Inconvenient Truth,’’ is a documentary, an instrument of public education and talks about the problem of global warming in the earth and inspires people to take action to save the earth. This documentary centers on Al Gore, and his campaign to make global warming a recognized problem worldwide. Gore combines objective scientific evidence, humor and personal insights to create a powerful exploration of what he clearly believes is the most critical issue of this or any other time in human history. Davis Guggenheim was the director of the documentary…’’ Simply click here to continue reading the sample.
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