Your assignment is to write an essay analyzing the cinematic style of director Tim Burton. Your essay will focus on the ways in which the director uses stylistic techniques across film to achieve a desired effect. You may choose to analyze any of the cinematic techniques (pages 134-136) used to create an intended effect. You will choose from the following topics:
What is Burton’s purpose in creating fantastical worlds in each film, and what cinematic elements does he use to create them?
How does Burton show the importance of the character type of a misfit in the three films, and what cinematic elements does he use to emphasize that character type?
Your essay will need to include the following elements:
Thesis statement (identifying cinematic elements and how they create effect)
3 or 4 cinematic elements to be analyzed
Examples for each element from at least 2/3 films
Supporting explanation for each example
Your essay will need to be formatted in the following ways:
Burton’s stylistic techniques employing textual support from multiple ﬁlms. The analysis displays an
of how Burton achieves his intended effect on the audience.
The writer clearly identifies and describes Burton’s stylistic techniques using support from more than one ﬁlm. The analysis displays a clear understanding of
how Burton achieves his
intended effect on the audience.
The writer demonstrates
a limited understanding
of Burton’s stylistic techniques; support is insufﬁcient or inaccurate. The analysis displays a misunderstanding of
how Burton achieves the intended effect on the audience and/or may be replaced with plot summary.
_____ / 20
The essay is multi-paragraphed and logically organized to enhance the reader’s understanding. It includes and innovative introduction with an insightful lead or hook and strong thesis, coherent body paragraphs, and a perceptive conclusion. Effective transitions exist throughout and add to the essay’s coherence.
The essay is multi-paragraphed and organized. It includes and introduction with a lead or hook and clear thesis, detailed body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Transitions create coherence.
Organization is attempted, but key components are lacking. It may include an introduction with an
undeveloped body paragraphs, and/or inadequate conclusion.
Transitions, if attempted, do little to create coherence.
tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
makes a claim that others might dispute.
is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation. (The Writing Center, UNC)
Crafting Your Thesis
The goal in your essay to prove how Tim burton uses cinematic elements to achieve (importance of the character type of a misfit) or (purpose of fantastical worlds)
Therefore, your thesis statement must answer this “question”
Use the model below as a starting point for your thesis for your essay; fill in which cinematic elements you decide best achieves the effect
In his films Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands, and Corpse Bride, Tim Burton uses (cinematic element 1) and (cinematic element 2) to achieve (effect)
Supporting Your Thesis
Each body paragraph should provide immediate support for your thesis
In this case, you have three elements to provide support for in your thesis; begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence in how your element creates a dark and eerie mood within the films
Burton uses (cinematic element 1) in (which films) to create (effect chosen) by (how the mood is created by cinematic element 1).