KIN 68  Lords of Dogtown Critique Essay

KIN 68  Lords of Dogtown Critique Essay

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KIN 68 Viz of S&C

Film Critique Assignment – Film Critique 2 – Characters

Students will submit two, 2-4page typewritten film critiques during the semester. Critique will be focused on two of the full-length feature film screened in class. Each critique will have particular requirements (see below) based both on the content of the film as well as class readings and discussion. Critiques will include a minimum of 2 academic sources and 1 popular source.

Character Narrative Development Essay #2 – Lords of Dogtown (10%)

2pp 3-4 refs = C range

3 pp 5-6 refs = B range

4 pp 7-8 refs = A range

Writing about Narrative and Character Development

Although many films vary from classical structure, one paradigm has dominated narrative film production for the last hundred years. The classical paradigm emphasizes dramatic unity, plausible motivations, and coherence of its constituent parts. Classical plot structures are linear, beginning with an exposition that situates the characters in the place and time and introduces the protagonist and the main conflict of the film. The following scenes intensify this conflict in a rising pattern of action. This escalation is treated in terms of case-effect, with each scene implying a link to the next. The conflict builds to its maximum tension in the climax. After the climax, the dramatic intensity subsides in the resolution. The story ends with some kind of formal closure.

Syd Field, the author of several noted handbooks on screenwriting, claims that the classical paradigm plays out in film in terms of a three-act structure: setup, confrontation, and resolution.

What is three-act structure (Links to an external site.) (链接到外部网站。)?

Basic Structure, 6-12 paragraph essays, 2pp.-4pp., with Title page and References pages. APA format.

  1. Title Page

Title page should include:

  1. Running Head (left justified, upper case letters, paper title)
  2. Title of Paper (be specific here!)
  3. Author Name
  4. University
  5. Class Name & Section if applicable
  6. Professor
  7. Date (e.g. 4 January 2007)
  8. Pg #s in upper right hand corner preceded by truncated running head title
  9. Upper left corner TITLE (upper case) – this is a running head
  10. Except for running head and pg numbers, everything else on title page is centered and double spaced
  11. 12 pt. Font only
  1. Introduction (1-2 paras)
  • Optional – cite an interesting quote to frame the discussion
  • Topic sentence
  • Statement of purpose (what you will write about and discuss do in the paper)
  • Goals of paper
  • Basic film info
  • State characters and Theme

Background (1-2 paras)

  • History around skateboarding
  • The time period of the film
  • Larger social issues of the time
  • Development of skate subculture

Character Narratives (4-6 paras total)

Stacy Peralta & the American Dream (1-2 paras)

  • identify the main theme of each paragraph
  • cite academic research
  • cite EG from the film

Tony Alva – Consequences of Success (1-2 paras)

  • identify the main theme of each paragraph
  • cite academic research
  • cite EG from the film

Jay Adams & Art, Identity, & Commercialism (1-2 paras)

  • identify the main theme of each paragraph
  • cite academic research
  • cite EG from the film

Conclusion (1-2 paras)

  • Summarize the main content of paper
  • Wrap up main themes of paper
  • Reference any additional journal materials
  • Current state of skate subculture
  • Final thoughts and looking forward, larger social importance


  1. New page unto itself
  2. APA style is usually cited: Last Name, First Name 1st Letter. (year). Article title. Journal title, vol, pp. .
    e.g. citation: Johnson, B. (2007). Learning to read the media. Journal of Popular Culture, 11, 124 – 135.
  3. See webct handouts for detailed APA citation examples
  4. See Purdue owl link for more on APA

*Film critique: Some things to pay attention to:

A film critique is somewhat different from a review. A critique is an analytical essay on a film, in which you state your opinion on the “aesthetic quality” of the film and then give your reasons for your opinion. Do not limit yourself to reacting to the film (“I loved it !”) and do not use generic terms like “incredible,” “wonderful,” “marvelous,” etc. Unlike a review, you assume that the reader has already seen the movie; you do not need to give an extensive plot summary; you do not need to hide plot information so as not to spoil the surprise of the viewer; and you do need to be consistently analytical and critical. You might focus in your review on whether the main elements of the film come together to make a coherent, meaningful and moving film. You should probably focus on the following:

  1. Does the movie want to be more than entertainment (ambition)?
  2. How strong is the script (and dialogue)?
  3. Are the characters believable?
  4. Are the actors appropriately cast?
  5. What is the theme of the film? Is it obvious or only subtly evident? Do the plot, acting, and other elements in the film successfully impart the theme to the viewer?
  6. Is the setting/locale appropriate and effective?
  7. Is the cinematography effective? Does the film make certain use of color, texture, lighting, etc. to enhance the theme, mood, setting?
  8. Is the sound track effective and appropriate? Is the music appropriate and functional, or is it inappropriate and obtrusive?
  9. Are camera angles used effectively? Are they ever used for a particular effect?
  10. Are there special effects (and/or special effects makeup) in the film? If so, are they essential to the plot? Are they handled skillfully? Do they serve a necessary function, or does the film sacrifice plot or characterization for the effects themselves?
  11. Does the film make use of symbols or symbolism? What purpose do the symbols serve? Are they used effectively? How does the symbolism in the film contribute to or enhance the film’s overall theme?

Most importantly, how does the film-maker either accomplish or fall short of their objective.

It is very important to focus the attention of the reader to examples that support your point(s). Just like in a legal case, you must provide “evidence” from the film to support your position. Therefore, taking good notes is essential to writing a solid critique.

In a perfect world, you would watch the film more than once after you had established a ‘game plan’ for your critique; that way you could scour the movie for examples of the success or failure of the movie to reach those goals.

Film Critique

Research Synthesis guidelines:

  1. Summarize ideas from a section of your source, or quote exactly the sentences or passages that may prove useful. If you use an exact quotation, place it in quotation marks. Whether you summarize or quote, be certain to indicate all the necessary information about the source, including the page numbers.
  2. When quoting sentences or passages directly, be discriminating. Do not simply copy long paragraphs that seem important but that you have not entirely digested or understood. If you consider carefully the passages that may be helpful to your argument later, the research will help refine your argument at an early stage. No one incorporates every note or summary gathered from secondary sources into the final draft. If you use judgment and reflect on the material you are choosing, however, you will not be faced with a massive pile of notes that have scattered rather than clarified your ideas.
  3. Never change occasional words from a quoted passage and copy it as if it were a summary. If that passage appears in your essay, it will look very much like plagiarism.
  4. Sometimes, it is advantageous to omit words or phrases from a quotation because they are not relevant to your point. When you do this, indicate the omission with ellipses (three spaced periods).
  5. Whether you are summarizing or quoting directly, you may wish to jot down your response to the material, such as, “Galperin is the only critic to recognize how literary this movie is.” Be sure to mark off these reflections clearly from the quoted or summarized passage with either brackets or double parentheses.

Essay guidelines:

  1. Begin by rereading the notes you have taken and sorting them into categories, such as “historical background material” or “themes.”

Not all the information you have gathered will necessarily be useful as you begin to focus your topic. A good writer learns to differentiate between what is truly useful and what is not. Overloading your essay with an enormous number of quotations will not improve it; needless information will only bury your argument. If you have already sketched an outline, now is the time to rework it in light of your research. This reworking of the outline may involve only fine tuning, such as adding some transition sections or expanding a section. Or you may have to rethink your most important premise, shifting and restructuring it to account for some of your recent findings. If your original approach was based on auteurist presumptions that are out of line with the limited control the director had over the particular film, the facts require you to reformulate your argument. As you develop your ideas for this first draft, you should be able to state a fairly clear and precise thesis for the paper.

  1. Write, type, or print out your quotations exactly as they will appear in your final draft. Put short quotations (four lines or less) between quotation marks and run them into your text. Longer quotations are not enclosed within quotation marks; instead, they are indented and separated from your prose by a triple space. Be certain that you have copied the quotations accurately.
  2. Add to your quotations all relevant bibliographical information. This material will appear later in your list of works cited, but it is advantageous to have it before you so that you can easily identify the source when you do your final draft.
  3. Get all titles, dates, and technical information right at this point. Include the date the film was released in parentheses next to the title. If you intend to use both the foreign-language title and the English title, be sure to double-check both. When using an author’s name in your text, give the full name as it appears in the article, book, or review. In subsequent references to this author, use just the last name (it is unnecessary in most cases to use a title like Professor or Ms).
  4. This early draft may also be the best place to write out concrete descriptions of the shots or sequences to which you refer. When your points require the use of other films as examples, consider and insert those titles.
  5. When you revise this draft, introduce your research and quotations with a lead-in so that you get the most from them.
  6. If your last draft is easy to read, it will be much easier to revise on the computer screen.
  7. After you have printed out a final draft of the essay, check the titles, dates, and page numbers of all your bibliographical information. Be sure you have included all the works used in the works-cited section (pp. 171–174) and, if you choose to, all the works you consulted (but, perhaps, did not use) in a works consulted section (p. 171).
  8. Be certain to save and back up your work on your computer and make an extra copy of it before submitting the paper in case the original is lost or misplaced by you or your instructor. “Upload all papers to Canvas dropboxes.”

*Reference: Crosson, R. (2009). Intro to writing about film. NY: Routledge.

Formatting the Essay*

The introduction needs to accomplish three objectives. It needs to:

  1. Interest your reader in the paper,
  2. Place your subject in context, and
  3. Introduce your thesis.

Tip: Don’t start writing the introduction first. Begin writing the body of your paper, and leave your introduction to a later time when you feel ready to write it.

Some strategies for drawing the readers into the essay:

  • Begin with a relevant and attention-getting quotation. For film topics, quotations from or about the film work very well.
  • Pose an important question.
  • Begin with a brief descriptive or narrative passage.
  • Begin with a paraphrase of a commonly held view that you immediately question.

Tip: Avoid “dawn of time” introductions. The introduction should be natural to the scope of your paper.

When you place your subject in context, you need to give the minimal amount of information for the reader to understand the thesis. You need to take into account:

  1. What information is absolutely necessary for understanding the thesis and what information can be explained later in the essay.
  2. What the reader can already be expected to know. You don’t need to include background information that would be evident to the reader.

Tip: Starting your paper with a sting of commonplaces, information obvious to all but the most ignorant of viewers, is not likely to encourage the reader to continue reading your paper.

The thesis statement (Links to an external site.) (链接到外部网站。) usually comes at the end of the introduction. It’s a single sentence (usually) that sums up the main point of the paper. If you choose to put the thesis somewhere else in the introduction, make sure it’s easily identifiable as the thesis, so the reader can clearly understand where you’re going in your paper.

Evaluation criteria include the following: (a) identification of character themes; (b) synthesis, critical analysis and application of the literature; (c) adherence to the assignment guidelines; (d) citations, references, and format; (e) syntax, grammar, and spelling; and (f) originality and creativity.

See Canvas for more details.


  • 2-4 pages of text, not including title and reference pages (max of 10 written text pages)
  • Reference min. of x2 journal, peer-reviewed articles, x1 pop source
  • In addition, you can use the textbook, but they do not count as 1of the 3.
  • See webct and class reader for examples of peer review journal articles and how to cite
  • 10 or 12 pt. font, APA style, black ink, times new roman font style, white paper, indent new paragraphs, use paragraph breaks
  • APA is written in past tense whenever possible (e.g. The purpose of this paper was ….The goal of this paper was…)
  • Need to have in-text citations for any material noted on the reference page
  • Double space lines of text
  • Inside the paper – main section titles are good for organization (e.g. section title…Moving Toward Change: Social Action in H.S. Sport)
  • Brief, clear, and concise writing; write with academic, formal voice
  • No more than 3 direct referenced quotes in paper
  • Read and follow in detail the paper guidelines; see grading rubric for specifics;
  • Try to avoid overuse of it, they; make sure tenses agree; no use of I
  • Use spell check and grammar check!


Web Site: (VERY useful resource for writing and research including APA style)

Professional Journal Articles:

Professional journal articles, or scholarly articles, have undergone a review process before publication. This means that the article has been reviewed by experts and typically revised prior to publication. The peer-review process helps to ensure that high quality articles are published. For this assignment, it’s recommended that you begin searching for articles using Academic Premier (one of the library’s databases) and on the search menu, check the box to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles. This database also provides full text articles. How to search using this database will be demonstrated in class. Reference librarians in the King Library are also available to help you search for references.

You MUST provide reference citations (use author, year format) for information you include in your paper, and a reference list must be included. Failing to provide reference citations is PLAGIARISM! Be sure to read the information that follows on plagiarism. It also illustrates how to include reference citations in the text of your paper, and how to cite references in your reference list. The King Library also has an online tutorial on plagiarism. Be sure you know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it!


“Plagiarism in student writing is often unintentional, as when an elementary school pupil, assigned to do a report on a certain topic, goes home and copies down, word for word, everything on the subject in an encyclopedia. Unfortunately, some students continue to use such ‘research methods’ in high school and even in college without realizing that these practices constitute plagiarism. You may certainly use other persons’ words and thoughts in your research paper, but you must acknowledge the authors” (Gibaldi & Achtert, 1988, p. 22).

Writing research papers requires that you use the work and ideas of others; however, these ideas are the property of the original author — the original author MUST be indicated by a reference citation [e.g., (author, year), footnote, or (#) corresponding to the citation in the reference list]. Every source listed in the reference list must be cited in your paper, and every source cited in your paper must be included in the reference list. (Exception: Personal communications are cited in the paper, but are not included in the reference list.) It is not necessary to cite sources of common knowledge; common knowledge is what any knowledgeable person in the field would know (Corder & Ruszkiewicz, 1989). However, any information that is not common knowledge MUST be cited whether or not it is a direct quotation. If in doubt, credit your source.


In general, physical activity is associated with positive psychological well-being in older adults (McAuley & Rudolph, 1995). However, training programs designed to improve physical fitness are not always associated with enhanced psychological well-being. Nieman, Warren, Dotson, Butterworth, and Henson (1993) found that women aged 67-85 years who participated in a 12 week walking program improved aerobic capacity 12.6%, but did not significantly improve psychological well-being or mood state compared to a control group that participated in mild stretching exercises.

To avoid unintentional plagiarism, read the reference, then SET IT ASIDE while you summarize what you read IN YOUR OWN WORDS. You may THEN go back to the reference to check the accuracy of your notes and to ensure that you have not inadvertently taken direct quotes from the reference. DO NOT TAKE NOTES DIRECTLY FROM THE REFERENCE and DO NOT WRITE YOUR PAPER DIRECTLY FROM YOUR REFERENCES — plagiarism frequently results from these practices.

When taking notes, you may paraphrase the author’s words or you may summarize the author’s words. In both cases, you MUST cite the original author. “If you merely rearrange a few words in an original passage, or include a few words of your own, and then pass the idea along as yours, you have committed plagiarism” (Bingham, 1982, p. 163).

Direct quotations should be used VERY SPARINGLY. It is appropriate to use direct quotations in the following circumstances: (a) when giving the wordings of laws and official rulings (b) when exact wording is crucial (c) when the original is worded so well that you cannot improve upon it (Campbell & Ballou, 1978). Direct quotations must be indicated by quotation marks (longer passages may require block quotations, depending on the style manual used). When citing direct quotations, include the page number in the reference citation.

If you do not sufficiently understand what you have read to summarize and integrate it into your paper, do NOT use that reference. It is NOT acceptable to use a direct quotation in place of understanding the ideas. Note: There is a limit on the number of sentences that may be direct quotations in research papers submitted for this class.

APA Citation Examples:

Bingham, E. G. (1982). Pocketbook for technical and professional writers. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Campbell, W. G., & Ballou, S. V. (1978). Form and style. Theses, reports, term papers (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Corder, J. W., & Ruszkiewicz, J. J. (1989). Handbook of current English (8th ed.). Glenview, IL: HarperCollins.

Gibaldi, J., & Achtert, W. S. (1988). MLA handbook for writers of research papers (3rd ed.). New York: Modern Language Association of America.

McAuley, E., & Rudolph, D. (1995). Physical activity, aging, and psychological well-being. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 3, 67-96.

Nieman, D. C., Warren, B. J., Dotson, R. G., Butterworth, D. E., & Henson, D. A. (1993). Physical activity,psychological well-being, and mood state in elderly women. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 1, 22-33.

Note: For professional journal articles, cite the following information:

Author(s), (Year of publication), Article title, Journal title, Volume number of journal, Inclusive page numbers.

For on-line professional journal articles, cite the above information, if available, AND include the date the document was retrieved and the URL. Example:

Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention & Treatment,3, Article 0001a. Retrieved from…

In-text citation examples:

Anderson (1999, p. 10) stated, “there are numerous causes for youth to drop of sport including parental pressure and burn-out.”


The authors of the study noted that, “there are numerous causes for youth to drop of sport including parental pressure and burn-out” (Anderson et al., 1999, p. 10)


The researcher argued that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches could indeed allow one to dunk a basketball (Iverson, 2000).

Examples of types of sentences for Intro paragraph

The purpose of this paper was to explore social justice and change in sport through examination of women’s sports, Title IX, and gender discrimination. The goal of the paper was to demonstrate how the growth of women’s sport, due in main part to Title IX legislation and enforcement, have helped to challenge traditional normatives of gender and effected larger change in U.S. society. In particular, I will examine the growth of women’s sport at the NCAA collegiate level, issues surrounding Title IX, and the larger social dialogue surrounding the controversial application of this legislation in terms of university athletics. Throughout this paper, I have leaned on theories from social feminism and scholarly research articles related to the paper topic to help contexualize the discussion on gender and sport.

Quantitative Grading Rubric


References (20%)

______ Professional journal articles ____ Reference selections

______ Minimum of journal articles ( __of __ ) ____ Use of .gov/.org sites

______ References variance in body of paper ____ Amount of in-text citations

______ Referencing format: author, year reference citations in body of paper

______ References page with complete reference information

Content (40%)

______ Appropriate title ______ Weave/Integration of reference material

______ Appropriate content ______ Few or no direct quotations (<3 sentences)

Organization (10%)

______ Topic of paper introduced in first paragraph ____Use of section headers, titles, word choice

______ Transitions between paragraphs and sub-topics ____Purpose/goal statements in intro paragraphs

______ Summary in final paragraphs ____ Organization of content

Analysis and Critical Thinking (15%)

______ Evident in paper ____ Integration of course concepts ___Proper synthesis of materials

Writing Skills (15%)

Clarity: ______ Content is clear Correctness:______ Few grammatical errors ______ Few spelling errors

______ Strong sentence structure ____ APA tense agreements

____ Use of Pronouns ______ Syntax


____ Title pgs. Indentations_____ Paragraphs ___ Section Organization ____

____ Ref pgs. Headers _______ Margins ___


______ Paper turned in on time ______ Late, -1 grade step

______ Late, – 2 grade steps ______ Late, – 1 full grade

ISSUES: ___ need more formal writing style ___ too anecdotal info ___ more effort overall ___ lack of attention to detail
___ missing parts of writing assignment ___ need to paraphrase more ___ thin on content/analysis __ refs antiquated

___ narrative disjuncture ___ filler content ___ plagiarism issues ___ missing rubrics ___ sentence structure/phrasing issues

__ topic too general/broad ___ edits needed to content __ repetition ___ vagueness __ too general ___ weak topic choice
___ lack of clarity __ too many adjectives/adverbs ___ lack of narrative development ___ passive voice ___ not D2L uploaded

Character Narrative

Character Themes articulated ______

EG from film ______

Use of academic refs ______

Use of film terms ______

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