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When you write about film, you can help to forge connections between cinema and the world. We’ll present a guide from essay experts to writing about film.

An Ultimate Guide to Writing about Films from Essay Experts

Almost everyone loves watching movies. The iconic scenes of classic films have become a kind of modern mythology, touchstones that represent how we think about ourselves and our world. Yet at the same time, few are able to clearly articulate their deepest reactions to movies or to contextualize them. That’s where writing about film comes into play. When you write about film, you can help to forge connections between cinema and the world it inhabits. In this article, we’ll present an ultimate guide from leading essay experts to writing about film.

So, what should you do when you want to write an essay about a movie?

#1. Review the Assignment Before You Start

Whether you are writing about a movie for a publication or analyzing a film for an academic course of study, it’s important to make sure you understand what you’ve been assigned to do to make sure that the writing you produce is on topic and meets the expectations of your editor or your instructor. If you are writing an academic paper, your instructor will likely provide a rubric which will deliver a point-by-point list of the ways you will be evaluated as your instructor grades your paper. When you review the rubric, you’ll see that it is basically a cheat sheet that will outline what you need to do to earn the most points on your assignment. If you don’t understand something about the assignment, be sure to ask the instructor before you start writing.

#2. Watch the Assigned Movie to Write About

While this might appear to be the most basic part of writing about a movie, there is no way to develop an effective essay about a movie without actually watching it from beginning to end. While you watch the film, take notes about what you see on screen. Typically, you will use a notebook, tablet, or laptop. It’s generally a good idea to watch the movie twice, the first time to get a general impression of the movie and to let the emotion of it wash over you. On second viewing, you can look more deeply into its structure and production, including the production design, themes, pacing, acting, and other elements that will impact your paper’s main ideas.

#3. Do Your Research

After you’ve developed some initial thoughts about the film, you should begin to research it, usually between your first and second viewings. One place to start is by reading reviews of the film to get a sense of professional critics’ views. Many older, famous movies will also have scholarly articles or books written about them. Similarly, you can review interviews with the cast and crew, or accounts from their memoirs. If you need help as you work on your paper, you can also look for help from professional essay writing services, where you can get custom academic papers on your topic. A service like can research your paper’s topic and produce a fully developed academic essay on the topic so you can see exactly how a professional writer would go about analyzing the movie you selected. 

Develop Your Thesis Statement

Before you can discuss your topic, you need to establish the point of view you’ve adopted regarding the film. This derives from developing your own ideas about the movie and how it relates to the essay question you seek to answer, or the task you have been assigned. Ask yourself what you have to say that is unique or different from what others have said. What makes your take worth reading? What does it offer that you can’t get elsewhere? Your thesis statement needs to explain what your paper will demonstrate or prove, and it should reflect your specific conclusions about the movie.

Create an Outline of Your Essay about a Film

Your thesis statement should serve as a guide to help you develop an outline for your paper in which you will list all of the main points you will use to support your main idea, a bit like a roadmap that lets you navigate through the sticky issues of structure and support before you start writing. While this might seem a bit like busywork, it will save you time in the end because it will show you exactly what you need to discuss so you can stay on track and avoid digressions that won’t pan out. The more detail you add to your outline prior to writing, the easier the writing process becomes when you start to write. After all, the outline does all of the hard work for you, and the writing process becomes simply the process of fleshing out the outline into complete sentences and paragraphs. 

Revise and Proofread Your Written Paper

After completing the first draft of your essay, you are only part way through the writing process. What follows is arguably more important: You will review the paper carefully and revise it to ensure it is clear, accurate, and easy to understand. Every paper can benefit from revision, so be sure to think about the audience and how they will understand what you’ve written as you revise. Similarly, you should give the final draft a proofread twice to catch errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax. It isn’t always easy to see errors that we have made in our own writing, so it can often be helpful to ask a friend to help you proofread.

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