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Reading Film Assignment #3: Investigative Proposal

You are trying to get a student grant to attend and present at this year’s Society of Cinema & Media Studies conference. The special topic for this year is “Adaptation,” which fits perfectly with your course studies so far. To win the grant, you need to submit a formal proposal with the following format: in four paragraphs, (1) present a specific theme and open-ended investigative question to pursue, (2) examine the purpose of the investigation and how it will contribute to the study of adaptation, (3) consider a method or discipline for approaching your subject, and (4) identify possible resources you will use to explore your question.

Audience: A very busy committee of film scholars trying to decide on a grant award

Format: 4 paragraphs, MLA style

Advice: Since the topic is “Adaptation,” you should have a particular film or literary text as your central example, for example Shakespeare on film (e.g. Throne of Blood, O, Forbidden Planet), filmed graphic novels (e.g. Superman, Sin City, Tank Girl), classic novels (e.g. Pride and Prejudice, Clueless, Great Expectations), or novelizations of films (e.g. Star Wars, Snakes on a Plane). Remember: you need not only to describe your proposed investigation concisely, but also to convince the Society of the importance of your topic and indicate to them how you intend to research your question.


Type: Use a secondary text to analyze a primary text

Rationale: This assignment is preparatory to the final research project. Students will not fully analyze the primary text in this proposal, but are asked to consciously choose among possible methodological approaches (and explain their choice).

Pre-Draft Activities:

  1. workshop on investigative questions
  2. 2-3 paragraphs justifying topic

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