About this Guide
This website provides a guide to conducting research in Film Studies at Yale University, highlighting key resources and crucial search strategies. There are many special aspects to doing Film Studies research, including:
- important but unintuitive search terms, such as "motion pictures"
- techniques for finding videos, reviews and screenplays
- intersecting topics, such as how a social group is represented on screen (its role in front of the camera) and its position within the film industry (its role behind the camera)
- major topics (such as financial aspects) that are less prominent in other fields within the arts and humanities
- cast and crew information
- and much more
Through this website, I try to give you some ways to crack open Film Studies' numerous subjects. Most of the pages give examples that you can use as a model for your searches, descriptions of the main resources, and tips on how to use certain databases.
It's important to know that even though the guide focuses on strategies for finding books, often the same or similar approaches will work in article databases.
There are also pages for particular classes, and every month I provide a list of books (and sometimes microfilms, databases and other resources) that the Library acquired the month before.
Questions? Want to discuss your research needs? Please contact me!
Author credit: Please note that much of the content of this subject guide was written by Tobin Nellhaus.
Seeing the film studies course in the curriculum or the film studies major while applying to the university, people often wonder why this school does exist. Can students who pursue a degree in the sphere get any useful knowledge and apply it later in life? In addition, why would you pay so much for taking film studies courses? Even if you love movies, want to work in the film industry, and, therefore, decided to major in film studies, those questions definitely popped up in your head a few times. However, does anyone who asks them really understand what film studies are about and how people can benefit from learning them? The answer is surely no, but the questions, even if they are asked by people who lack knowledge on the subject, remain. Therefore, it is important to clarify these questions to prove skeptics wrong.
It is obvious that no one would spend time on something completely useless and uninteresting. Hence, the counter question that arises is why would prestigious universities have a course or major that has no value? Also, why would famous directors and actors donate thousands of dollars each year to the film studies faculties if the education does not pay off? It would certainly make no sense, as film studies take students' time, a lot of money, and efforts of the professionals in the sphere, which means that course does serve a significant purpose.
First of all, it prepares specialists who will work in the film industry such us critics, screenwriters, broadcasters, operators, and even directors. Film studies give all of the necessary knowledge and help develop numerous skills, which later come handy not only in the filmmaking sphere but at any other jobs in the market, as many of the skills obtained are transferable. Also, the educational process itself is a lot of fun, and it is hard not to love it, so people who pursue a degree in film studies do not have to be involved in the dull and tedious work. They learn to be creative, passionate and rely on not only logic and instructions during their studies, but also on the inner vibe - their feelings and senses. Students are allowed to forget about limits and think beyond them; it frees their interest and makes them so open-minded that they can walk through life happily and with confidence, never saying never to the most unusual crazy ideas that come to their minds. Such people graduate to be innovators and creators and become successful doing things they actually like.
From the academic viewpoint, film studies bring a new understanding of the cinema, showing that every movie is a work of art. Films and literature have something in common - they both tell stories, carry certain messages, speak about feelings of people the narratives are about, and the state of authors - the movies just address more human senses doing all these. Studying films, a person can study history and culture extensively, learn more about the world and people around, and understand how to express oneself in movies while directing or writing the script, using available techniques and methods. Through the art of filmmaking, students can also touch upon some actual problems and help to raise the awareness in the society. Such people have massive informational weapon, ability to manipulate emotions, and opportunity to make a difference by influencing the whole world.
Hence, film studies as an academic discipline or course surely give students an important knowledge and abilities that are applicable in real life. Furthermore, if you have decided to major in film studies, you can be sure now that you have made the right choice. You will go through ups and downs taking the course, however, eventually, you will see that it was worth it. You will adore some practical lessons more than theoretical ones that involve film studies coursework writing, but it is certainly not a problem with our team by your side. Pro-Papers, one of the best custom coursework writing services, is always here to support you and save you from homework difficulties. Let us help you with troublesome assignments, so you can enjoy the time mastering film studies in full.
You have written hundreds of essays on numerous subjects in your life successfully, but the film studies essay just confuses you? There is no need to question your writing abilities as the main difficulty here is in the subject itself. Film studies course is very unusual; it covers so much information and requires students to know so many nuances that you can become lost easily, even with such a simple task as film studies coursework. Hence, Pro-Papers decided to help you get back on the writing track by providing you with a few valuable guidelines.
- Find a suitable topic.
The same as in every written assignment you have to prepare, it is important to pick a topic to complete film studies essay writing successfully. It should be related to the area of studies you are focusing on in the class, whether it is the history of moviemaking, film production, usage of colors and sound in movies, etc. Your teacher may suggest some topics to give you directions, but in case you have none, here are some cross-functional options that will help to write a suitable critical film studies review, even if you do not know what part of studies your class is at right now:
- Movie analysis
A pretty common topic for film studies dissertation should be still interesting and actual enough to work on. Your goal is to analyze the movie you have watched from different viewpoints, describe messages this movie is sending, and which methods were used to do it. There are no limitations on what should be analyzed and discussed in the essay, as you can touch upon the bias of the director or the crew, point out mistakes or parts that did not fit the story, and even say how you think an issue or a certain theme should have been presented. The topic is not hard, and you can be as creative as you wish, so it is perfect when you are short on time.
- Propaganda in films
There are many films made for propagandistic purposes, however, not all of them admit to advocating certain values. The propaganda can easily be seen in political and social movies, as their main intention is to make people believe some things are more "right" than others. However, the audience tends to miss such propagandistic messages. Hence, it is necessary to understand what was the message, how and why it was sent, who benefits from this, what impact the movie had or has, and whether the movie should be banned or the scene with the message cut. You can cover old or new movies in your film studies GCSE coursework and discuss the variety of questions and issues that arise when people watch films with clear or hidden propaganda.
- World cinema
Every nation in the world has its own customs, ways of living, and seeing the world. All these factors influence music, composed by people, in different countries, literary pieces they create, and now -movies they make. Films reflect the national spirit, significant historical moments, variety of problems a country is or was facing, and many other things that are peculiar specifically to the birthplace of the movie. Hence, in order to explore other cultures, differences in filmmaking and the approach to it, students write essays or even film studies thesis on world cinema, choosing a certain country or a group of countries to work on. Such papers may discuss specific genres, compare movies of a local director or directors, tell about a history of moviemaking in a country, and cover hundreds of other areas.
- Movie analysis
A research process for film studies essays usually differs from typical researches, when students go to libraries or find sources online. In this case, the research depends on the topic you have chosen. If we look through the options proposed above, it becomes evident that most of them require you to watch a film or a few related to the topic. If you have picked the first example of the topic, there is no need to use any sources for writing, as you should rely mainly on your thoughts and perception. You can surely read the history of how this movie was made and biographies of people who were involved in a production process, however, this is more useful when you analyze documentaries. In case of other topics, the research is necessary, but there is not much literature available, so you will have to look through journals, articles, and the web, trying to find a reliable source and enough information to prepare a decent paper.
- Create an outline.
If you want to facilitate the writing process for yourself, it is better to think about the structure of the paper beforehand. Decide how many sections you essay will consist of and what each paragraph will cover to create an outline. Write down parts and paragraph numbers on the draft and a few descriptive sentences near each section to direct yourself when writing. Afterward, create a comprehensive and accurate thesis statement that encompasses the main questions your essay will focus on. Make sure that you know what format you are asked to use and style up the title page alongside with reference page accordingly.
- Check the work.
Proofreading is as essential as researching in the process of the homework completion. Checking and editing the paper prior to submitting will save your essay from foolish mistakes and inconsistencies, and your average point from going down significantly. To proofread better, leave the paper after finishing it for a couple of hours or even a day if you have enough time, and go back to it afterward. Thus, you will spot more mistakes and be able to assess the quality of own writing more critically. You may notice that some parts of the paper are written poorly and need to be revised, but the good part of it is that at least you have noticed the issue before the teacher did. Proofreading is a great opportunity to polish your essay, improve it, and hence, be graded better.
If you use these tips and follow instructions step-by-step, you will certainly create an excellent paper. However, if something goes wrong at some stage of the completion, and you will feel a need to use a professional film studies essay help; Pro-Papers is here to provide you with it. Do not hesitate to contact us whenever you are experiencing difficulties with your homework, and our team of experts will take care of it promptly and qualitatively.
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