Effective Reading of Advertising and Editorials
In this activity you’ll consider whether the quality of modern film has truly declined, as Sontag claims, conduct research to find at least three current, credible sources, and then write a synthesis essay. Your essay should be a minimum of one page, single-spaced.
Sontag calls the last hundred years of cinema “decadent art,” and she cites specific films, usually older black and white films, as substantially better than modern films. She supports her argument by saying that modern film does not inspire the particular love (“cinephilia”) of the cinema that these older films inspire. Yet, when you review the modern-day media’s treatment of modern film and the editorials that profess a love for today’s film in particular, the examination raises the question: does Sontag express a true view of film and film making, or is she expressing her own personal bias in her view of cinema’s first hundred years?
Re-read Sontag’s essay and carefully consider her argument. Then, conduct research online or in a library to find at least three current, credible sources that present additional viewpoints on the state of modern film. Your sources may be journal articles, newspaper articles, books, magazine articles, or other types of sources, but they must be the work of reputable authors.
Then, in an essay that synthesizes your sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies Sontag’s claim that older film is better than modern-day film.
To write this synthesis essay, you will need to consider carefully your own thoughts regarding whether Sontag’s claim that older film is better than modern-day film is true or not. Then examine your sources. Next, considering the information in your sources and your own knowledge, you will form an argument about Sontag’s claim.
Remember to use your sources to support your position. Do not focus your essay on paraphrasing or summarizing the sources. Your position should be the focus; the sources should be support.
Your introduction should have a thesis that clearly states your position about Sontag’s claim that older film is better than modern-day film. The body of your essay should include paragraphs that support your position, and should cite your sources. You are also expected to use your own opinions, supporting your opinions with concrete details.
To complete this activity, first carefully read the essay question. Then, before you research sources, consider your own prior knowledge and opinions concerning Sontag’s claim that older film is better than modern-day film. Next, conduct your research and examine your sources, making sure to take notes on your interpretations, questions, and reactions to the excerpts as you do so. Some questions to consider as you read are as follows: ? What do these passages have in common? ? How many main ideas do these sources explore? What are these ideas? ? What contradictions, if any, are apparent in these sources? ? How many sources will I use in my essay? ? How will I cite these sources in my essay? ? How will I synthesize these sources into a coherent argument?
After you have thought about these questions in relation to your sources, write a thesis statement that states your position, either defending, challenging, or qualifying the idea of Sontag’s claim, and state two to four reasons for that position that you will use to support your argument.
AP English Language and Composition Page 2 of 2 Assignment: Effective Reading of Advertising and Editorials
Next, consider the evidence that you will use to support your position. Remember, evidence can include your own opinion (supported with concrete detail), information from the Sontag article, and evidence from your other sources.
Then, start your essay.
Finally, create your works-cited page to identify the outside sources used in your essay. *See the Research section of Appendix A for help citing your online sources.
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