LTEA 120C Hong Kong Films Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens
Spring 2024
How to Write an Excellent Response Paper: Step by Step
1. Choose a topic on the syllabus you are interested in learning more about. Do all assigned and additional recommended readings, and watch the films for that topic.
2. “Marinade” for a while. Spend some time reading and learning about the course topic you are interested in and build a knowledge base. Utilize the resources posted on Canvas and/or use the Course Reserves List, or other resources (libraries, JSTOR, internet,….)
3. Narrow down your focus and choose the exact film you want to focus on in a critical-
analytical way. Re-view that film very closely and list analytical points you will make about it. Pay attention not only to the content, plot or subject matter of the film (the “what”), but also to the cinematic devices and techniques the filmmaker uses (the “how”).
4. Take a step back and think about what you really want to say about this film in the
context of this topic on the syllabus. Craft the Thesis / Argument you want to make. This argument should be very specific (not broad and abstract), and you should be able to actually argue it. Ask yourself: could someone potentially argue against this thesis? If the answer is yes, then you most likely have an actual argument. Hot Tip: The more specific and concrete you make your thesis, the more likely it is that it will work as an argument.
5. Create an outline of your paper. Keep in mind that the essay should feature a clear
introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction should also serve as a “road map” for your reader.
6. Write a first draft of your essay. Be sure to present analytical points in support of your
central argument. Then provide evidence for each point you make. You may wish to describe some key scenes in the film and also discuss the specific cinematic techniques that were used to create the scene, as well as their effects upon the viewer.
7. Re-read, edit and revise your essay, both in terms of analytical content and style. Write a
second draft if needed. Write a good conclusion to round out your analytical essay. Be sure to spell-check your paper and to perfect your language and style.
8. Format your paper correctly: Use the MLA or Chicago Manual of Style format guidelines
for references, footnotes and bibliography.
9. Give your paper a cover page and a title; be sure to include your name and course title on the cover page.


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