Film Argument Essay–an Overview
This week you will develop a 750 word argument research paper based on the film assigned to your group, and for which you have been doing various activities, such as engaging in a discussion and developing an annotated bibliography. Your goal is to develop an argument thesis that identifies with specific elements (characters, plot, and / or setting) of the film that reflect the achievement of the American Dream OR disillusionment with the American Dream. For this essay, you will be using at least 4 to 6 research sources. Follow these criteria in developing your essay:
• A good introduction relevant to the subject and your film
• A well-developed argument thesis
• Develop well-argued body paragraphs that contain topic sentences which refer back to the thesis and provide supporting details from the film and your analyses. Well-argued body paragraphs focused on clear main ideas. Each main idea must: be introduced with a topic sentence, include critical analysis supported with clear and specific examples (reference to scenes) from the film, be further supported with critical and scholarly sources and conclude by showing its relation to the thesis.
• Use the film and your scholarly research as resources to develop your argument. You may use sources that you have researched, and/or you may use resources identified by your peers.
• Use a strong organizational structure with clear transitional sentences
• Write a conclusion that reemphasized the thesis statement
• An MLA formatted works cited page with 4-6 sources of relevant scholarly research.
• Inclusion of properly formatted in-text citations for all sources used in the essay (using the MLA parenthetical form of citations).

o 1-2 of the 5 sources should be scholarly articles on the film
o 1-2 of the 5 sources should be articles that discuss the American Dream in general but they must to be relevant to Dream’s portrayal in your film
o 1 of the 5 sources may be credible film reviews or articles relevant to themes examined in the film.
o You will also cite your film, but that will not be counted as one of your required five sources and will not need an annotation.
NOTE: You may NOT have more than TWO film reviews. The other three sources must be scholarly articles. In addition, select your sources carefully to be sure they are credible!.

Sources you could use that depict the American Dream in general:
A text Review

• A review of Cal Jillson’s Pursuing the American Dream from the University of Kansas

Websites Devoted to the idea of the American Dream

• The American Dream: A Historical Overview – Source:The Epic of America, 1931 . (
• “ What is the American Dream?” by Eva Michaels (

Articles About the American Dream in General and in Film

• “King Preaches the American Dream” – July 4, 1967 (Source: Marin Luther King Jr. Research and Educational Institute. (
• What Makes Superman So Darned American? by Gary Engle

Articles that introduce the concept of the American Dream in Film:

• Business As Usual: The American Dream in Hollywood Business Films. By Pileggi, Mary S., Grabe, Maria Elizabeth, Holderman, Lisa B.
de Montigny, Michelle. Source: Mass Communication & Society; Spring/Summer2000, Vol. 3 Issue 2/3.
• Awakening from the American Dream: The End of Escape in American Cinema? by Deneen, Patrick J. Perspectives on Political Science; Spring2002, Vol. 31 Issue 2.
• The American Dream in Film by J. Rosenbaum (a Slideshare document)